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Getting To Know: Víctor Valdés

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This is a new segment at Barca Blaugranes and every week I will take a look at a different Barcelona player. Just basic information, that you need to know about your favorite players. I will start with the No. 1 on the team and work my way in an ascending numerical order.

Full name: Víctor Valdés i Arribas
Squad No: 1
Position: Goalkeeper
Date of birth: 14 January 1982
Place of birth: L'Hospitalet de Llobregat
Height: 1.83 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight: 78 kg (172 lbs)

Víctor Valdés was born 28 years ago in L'Hospitalet, a city just southwest of Barcelona. He has two brothers, one older and one younger. Valdés started his Barcelona career on 1 July 1992 when he joined its youth ranks from Peña Cinco Copas, as a ten year old. In September of the same year, he moved with his family to Tenerife; therefore, leaving the club. He rejoined the team three years later and moved quickly through Barca's youth teams.

He was promoted to the first team in the 2002-03 season and he started the season backing up Robero Bonano, but he finished the year as a regular choice for the new manager Radomir Antić. He solidified his place in the starting line-up the following season and strengthened a position that was the team's weak spot in previous years. Valdés hasn't surrendered his position since and won the Zamora Trophy for the best goalkeeper in Spain in only his second season as a starter. Three years later he became one of only two goalies in Barcelona history to play every minute of every game in a La Liga season, the first man to do so was Barca legend Andoni Zubizarreta.

Valdés has played 383 games for the first team and another 77 for Barcelona B in 12 seasons, making him one of the longest tenured goalkeepers in club history. He is the most successful goalie in Barcelona history, lifting 13 trophies with the club. He owns the team record for not conceding a goal in European competition, a mark he set against the Rangers and stands at 466 minutes. He won his third Zamora Trophy in the 2009-10 season, trailing only Antoni Ramallets who won five with Barca.

He earned his first international appearance on 3 June 2010 in a friendly match between Spain and Korea Republic. He was included in Spain's 2010 World Cup wining squad as a backup and has three caps for the national team.

Profile
Valdés is an agile, commanding as well as a consistent and well respected goalkeeper. He is quick and organized in the area, has excellent reflexes and doesn't brake under pressure. His biggest flaws coming through the youth ranks were his decision making and coming off the line on crosses but with experience he improved both problem areas. He still makes an occasional crucial mistake, but he has cut them down considerably.

Honors
Barcelona

  • Spanish League (4): 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10

  • Spanish Cup (1): 2008-09

  • Spanish Super Cup (4): 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010

  • UEFA Champions League (2): 2005-06, 2008-09

  • UEFA Super Cup (1): 2009

  • FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2009

  • Zamora Trophy (3): 2004-05, 2008-09, 2009-10

Spain

  • FIFA World Cup: 2010

Víctor Valdés is signed until the end of 2013-14 season, when he will be 32 and baring any unforeseen events his contract will be extended.

Next up is Dani Alves.