Valdés was always a fine guarantee between the posts, good with both his hands and feet and an authoritative presence in the area. For many seasons, he was an absolute unconditional between the nets and a huge favourite with the fans.
The Catalan was excellent at reading the opposition, and was especially cool in one-on-one situations, especially considering that he’d have to make relatively few interventions during many games. He was the ideal goalkeeper for a big team like Barça.
Valdés had it all: security, agility, reflexes, cold blood, courage, intuition, authority and vision.
He was promoted up from Barça B in August 2002, but spent his first year alternating in the number one role with Roberto Bonano of Argentina.
But the following season he became the regular first choice and things would stay that way until 26 March 2014, the day he suffered a serious injury that meant he sat out the rest of what he had already announced was going to be his final season at the club.
His stats speak for themselves: he donned the FC Barcelona gloves more than any keeper before him, and also won more titles. In 539 official matches he conceded just 442 goals and won the Zamora Trophy for the best goalkeeping record in the league five times (2004/05, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12), a record only matched by another FCB legend, Antoni Ramallets.
In 2011/12, he also set a club record by going unbeaten in an astonishing 896 minutes of official football.