Report: Victor Valdes was looking to start his "contract" year on a high note and show consistency over the season Barcelona fans had not seen since the 2010-11 season, when he had the arguably best season of his career.
And Valdes did not disappoint, quickly helping Barça win the Supercopa de España with a solid performance over two legs against Atletico Madrid and earning consecutive clean sheets to open the La Liga season. Valdes continued his good form giving up more than one goal in the opening thirteen weeks of the season, which included four rounds of Champions League football, just twice.
On 19 November Valdes injured himself in a friendly game with Spain against South Africa, rupturing a tendon in the calf on the right leg, sidelining him for six weeks. As a result of the injury Valdes missed eight games, but returned for the first match in the year 2014, promptly keeping the opponents, Elche, off the scoreboard.
That eased concerns about a dip in form after the injury and Valdes continued to display good performances over the next weeks. Over the next fourteen games he only three times allowed two goals or more, though two of those resulted in losses.
Then disaster struck once again for the Barcelona No. 1. In what appeared to be a routine save on a free kick in the 23rd minute against Luis Enrique's Celta Vigo, Valdes tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right leg. The injury forced Valdes to miss the remainder of Barcelona's season as well as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
On the international stage Valdes made four appearances, but just once did he start the game from the opening whistle. During the 177 minute he spent in goal in the past year in goal for La Furia Roja the Barcelona goalkeeper gave up three goals. But even though he didn't impress on the international stage and he wasn't going to be the No. 1 goalkeeper at the upcoming World Cup his presence on the bench will surely be missed by Spain.
All in all this was a very up-and-down season for Valdes who committed very few blunders throughout the season on the pitch, but his inability to remain healthy ended his Barcelona career on a very sour note. Apart from his rookie campaign never did Valdes make so few appearances in one season.
Moment of the season: Undoubtedly Valdes' moment of the season came against Celta Vigo when he picked up the season ending injury that brought his Barcelona career to an abrupt end. But I'm (again) going to try to keep things positive in this section, at least as much I can be positive in times when a Barcelona legend is leaving the club. Valdes' best game of the season came on 21 September against Rayo Valecano when he saved an amazing nine Rayo shots, including a Roberto Trashorras penalty attempt.
|Started on the Bench||31|
Record with Victor Valdés in the starting lineup: 25-6-3
2014-15 Outlook: After two off-seasons that nearly saw Victor Valdes leave for greener pastures this summer the time has really come for Valdes to leave the only professional club he has ever known. His contract at Barcelona has come to an end, meaning he is a free agent and can sign for whichever club he chooses and Barcelona will receive no compensation. Valdes has been hotly tipped to join French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, who have claimed they will honor their agreement with Valdes despite the injury, but recently reports surfaced that Valdes will not be signing with Monaco. However, regardless which club Valdes joins he will almost certainly miss the start of the season, but should regain the No.1 goalkeeper position soon after his return to the pitch.
Next up: Jose Manuel Pinto
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