Andrés Iniesta /PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Andrés Iniesta, team-mate and personal friend of Víctor Valdés, has spoken to the press this afternoon, and one of the subjects touched on was the goalkeeper’s decision not to extend his contract any further than June 30, 2014. “I’d like to analyse the situation in a natural way” he said. “He started here ten years ago and came up through the youth ranks at Barça. He has worked hard to become an unquestionable starter. He has gone through difficult times and has overcome them. He has won five Zamora Trophies. I don’t think Barça’s titles can’t be understood without him … It is harder to say no to this team but that was his personal decision that he’s been meditating for some time”.

Continued applause

He also feels that after the initial shock, people should now show nothing but encouragement for Valdés. “He is one of the most important players the club will ever have in its history”, he said. “When a player as good as Valdés, who has performed so well at this club, the only thing you can do is keep applauding and supporting him”.

Iniesta also commented that “we will keep enjoying his presence from here until the end ans he can keep enjoying being part of a team with the sole objective of winning as many titles as possible. It would be a mistake to throw stones at ourselves”.

Not going out

Apart from Valdés, Andrés Iniesta was also asked about the mood in the camp after drawing with Malaga and losing to Real Sociedad. “The only thing we can do is analyse the situation and turn it around. We are all on alert and when we say that things are difficult that’s a fact not a cliché. That’s the reality of football”. Barça’s next game is the cup quarter final return leg at La Rosaleda, where the 2-2 draw in the first leg has given the Andalusians a certain advantage. But Iniesta feels the team is strong enough to qualify all the same, saying that “we have no intention of being knocked out. We’ll train to ensure we go there is the best possible condition. We have to feel confident that we can win a place in the next round”.
 

 

Staying to the end

Andrés Iniesta says he plans to hang up his boots at Barça. “My desire is to see my career out at this club. The only handicap is the matter of performance. When I stop performing, or when the club decides I’ve stopped performing, is the day I’ll leave”.