Víctor Valdés / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Since 2002, Víctor Valdés has been one of the FC Barcelona goalkeepers. But despite his history of fantastic performances and numerous accolades, he still thinks he has to fight to earn his place in the team. “This is my eleventh season and I have always said the same thing. I have never felt that I’m the number one choice and I never will do. I have seen everything and until the very last day I come to the Ciutat Esportiva, I won’t feel assured of my place”.

The new season had brought changes to the goalkeeping structure at Barça. Jose Ramón de la Fuente has taken over from Juan Carlos Unzué. “The work is different, more adapted to group work and the boss’ philosophy. The goalkeeper is one more player. Personally, I’m very happy with the way the first week has gone … De la Fuente is very demanding, I’m looking forward to it. Starting with a new coach is a new start and an exciting challenge”.

Well focused energy

In his first week of training since the European Championship, Valdés is impressed with the condition of the players. “I’m calm. I’m slowly getting my shape back. The most important thing is to get back into rhythm for the season. We have to take things step by step.” So he would rather not get into the controversies between his team and their future Supercup opponents, Real Madrid. “We’ve practically only just landed, we have to get into form and get into the rhythm of playing matches. We can talk about rivalries later … I’m starting with a lot of energy and channelling my thoughts into training, not into evaluating who’s saying whatever.”

Clear ideas

Víctor Valdés says that they will be treating the first title of the season with the importance that it deserves but is making no secret of their main targets. “You always try to get over bad things in the past, but La Liga and the Champions League are what they are we’ll going for them this season … Success depends on having the same attitude as ever. To a large extent it depends on the team but there are other factors that don’t depend on us so much”.