I must admit I was fairly surprised while reading your comments following my previous 10… article as most of you argued Barcelona must consider the signing of a new goalkeeper as an urgent, major priority. While I am delighted that you want to share your views with our fellow Barcelona fans and obviously understand everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I partly disagree.

Victor Valdes, Perfect For Barcelona 

Being a Barcelona goalkeeper has never been an easy job. Previous keepers such as Bonano, Hesp, Rustu, Vitor Baia or even Andoni Zubizarreta (who was gradually replaced by Carles Busquets due to his poor passing skills, then sold to Valencia on the cheap) are living examples.

 Since the times of Johan Cruyff‘s Dream Team, most of Barcelona’s focus is put into attacking and goalscoring. Defending the Barcelona goal has historically been tricky, as most of our rival’s chances end up being one-on-ones or easy one-touch shots.

A Barcelona goalkeeper must be not only agile and able to react quickly but also an aggressive sweeper who can pass the ball on the floor with confidence under pressure.

As a result, Victor Valdes is simply irreplaceable at Barcelona. In my opinion, there is simply no keeper in the world who could be more suitable to our current formation than ‘El Gato’ Valdes.

Victor has the charisma of a leader, has absorbed the Blaugrana mentality from a very early age and, undoubtedly, has the reflexes and skills needed to perform at the highest standard in professional football.



Victor Valdes is about to win his 5th Zamora trophy in a league that has Iker Casillas in it. Considering how much admiration and recognition the Real Madrid goalkeeper generates around the world, it would be silly to deny our Catalan’s merit. After 10 years defending our Camp Nou goal and contributing to 18 collective titles, doubting 30-year-old Victor Valdes seems controversial, to sat the least.

 The experienced Catalan keeper is also Barcelona’s vice-captain, together with Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. I believe that changing one of the core members of our team at a time when the Blaugranas are about to lose the stability Pep Guardiola has brought to our dressing room and club in general would not be a great idea.

 If Tito Vilanova wants to keep our current level of excellence for years to come, Victor Valdes must continue to play a key role.



Pinto, The Patient Squire 

Jose Manuel Pinto has visibly improved his footwork as a result of hours of hard-work, practice and determination over the years, mainly forced by Barcelona’s constant focus on playing the ball on the floor.

 Victor Valdes’ substitute keeper is an easy-going professional who never complains, understands his role within the team and gets on with the job whenever given the chance. Pinto’s ball control with his feet isn’t necessarily brilliant, but his perseverance has paid off and has now reached a decent standard.

 The key questions here are: Would I be comfortable with Pinto covering Victor Valdes during a long-term injury? Well, not entirely. Can Barcelona find a cheap, world-class goalkeeper who is happy to sit on the bench quietly for as long as necessary? Probably not.

 As things stand today, I am inclined to say Jose Manuel Pinto is the best choice Barcelona have for the reserve goalkeeper position. Having said that, I would like to see Barcelona B’s Oier or another upcoming La Masia keeper a proper chance to prove their worth at the highest level next season, as the 36-year-old Pinto isn’t getting any younger.



What We Learned 

Barcelona is expected to lift La Liga, the Champions League and every other trophy every year. Having a reliable goalkeeper is the basis for any team with high expectations: I am certain Victor Valdes is definitely capable of delivering quality performances in goal while building Barcelona’s play from the back.

 As for Pinto… He’s obviously not perfect but must be the obvious choice at this moment in time. In his case, only time will tell what the future brings.



Have Your Say 

 What did you think of this article?

 Do you trust Victor Valdes to defend Barcelona’s goal in the future?

 Is Jose Manuel Pinto good enough to keep his place in the Barcelona squad?

 Did I miss out on any important points you would like to share with us?

 I welcome and appreciate all respectful feedback.

 Força Barça!!

Posted by: Francesc Tomàs

 Founder and Columnist at www.barcablog.com and ESPN Correspondent for Barcelona

 Join our 27,000 followers on Facebook or Twitter

18 Responses

  1. Victor Valdes is among the best goalkeepers in the world. We do not need to buy one at this stage. However, we do need to groom a younger backup even though Pinto has usually done the job when he has played. Our most pressing priority is in central defence and left fullback.

  2. Changing keeper is not the problem all we need is a proper central defender and left back

  3. With all due respect.. Valdes Might posses the Blaugrana mentality, he even might be the best given the type of football we play. But he is in no means the perfect keeper for us.. Just look at Peter Cech's performances against us (he literally single-handedly booked his teams' place in the finals) and then compare to Valdes' mistakes in khedira's goal in the classico, and his mistake in ramires' goal in the chelsea game. the two goals that lost us the two ties..

  4. @Hassan: Interesting thoughts. As I explained in the article, I feel Valdes is perfect for Barca, obviously not in general.

    Victor may have messed up in those 2 goals you mention, but was outstanding in many other matches such as the 2006 Champions League final and many others.

    We need to put things into perspective and, while I accept Valdes is not superhuman, his overall performances surely live up to what I expect from a Barca keeper as a whole.

  5. Comments via ESPN Soccernet:

    Posted by Anonymous 18 hours, 22 minutes ago
    francesc,i agree perfectly with u on this article but must admit was really dissappointed when you seemed like doubting the commitment of Alves.I,personally,am of the view that when we begin passing unpleasant comments about our own players,who over the years have made everything possible for us to be happy,then FCB is not a club worth playing for.Valdes is undoubtedly the best for Barca if we so much cherish our philosophy of building play from the back and so is every single player in this team.They will arguably go down as the best team in history n it will not be because they had Messi but because the all did suit the ethos of this our beloved club….long live Barca,long live the greatest players of our time!

    Posted by Dylan Francis 6 hours, 40 minutes ago
    I totally agree with you Francesc Tomàs Victor Valdes and pinto are unreplaceable at the moment

    Posted by law dube 5 hours, 32 minutes ago
    Valdes has his virtues which you said so well. How about his weaknesses? The point is that a big club need a great 'keeper. Honestly how many points did Valdez save Barca this season? Look at chelsea matches. We speak of overreliance on messi here the reverse holds. Believe me im a staunch fan but some assurance in goal is needed. Look at madrid barca matches even when we beat them casillas always puts in a good shift. Truth is there are days when we might not be potent. Unfortunately valdez is not that insurance we need for those few times.

    Posted by FCB Boston 1 hour, 58 minutes ago
    You should not have been surprised Francesc – the commenters are not cules…they do not know what VV has given to the club. They probably dont even know what the Zamora is.
    VV is the only goalie for Barca. 4 Zamora's in a row, with a .76 coefficient vs Casilla's .83
    He is our keeper for the coming years for sure. And as you say and I commented in the 10 players blog, it would be good to give Oier for time in the first team next year as a replacement first for Pinto and then VV.

    Posted by Jay 31 minutes ago
    I agree with you that Valdes is an excellent keeper and the best option for Barca, however, I feel you could've mentioned that this year he has had a few lapses in concentrations (the Benzama 1st minute goal in El Classico) and also has had a tendency to concede at his near post in the big games (against Ronaldo at the last Classico, and also Van Persie last year) something he needs to improve on.

    1. Forgive my bluntness but both Valdes & Pinto shouldn't be our main stoppers. Buying a very good keeper is highly imperative.

      All the teams that frustrated Barca this season (e.g AC, Chelsea, Madrid) clearly had 1 thing working 4 them – Defence & 'KEEPER'

  6. I don't think we need any goalkeeper for now. What we need for now is defender and sharp striker like van pressi.

  7. i'm agree with you Cesc. It's like there's a "curse" on goalkeeper position after Zubi went to Valencia. Things went down from that moment. Baia, Hesp, Enke, Pepe Reina and Bonano are good keepers. But they never had a good perform in Barca. I think the main problem for Barca's goalkeeper is that we create too much expectation on players and if they fail, we hit them very hard. Saying "let sell Valdes" is easy, but to find a better replacement is hard.
    that's what i thought. cmiiw

  8. with all due respect. i agree with your opinion concerning his technical "fooballing" abilities. and he used – yes, i would say "used" – to be the best in one on one situations. but he seemed to have lost this.

    there were plenty of one on one situations this year in decisive games, in which he, as you correctly pointed out vv saved barca's victory(ies).

    especially the situation in the el clasico at camp nou vs. ronaldo: last season he would have been able to make it much more difficult for cr7 to score by closing down the angle for cr7.

    and he seems to have lost this ability which was quite vital for barca.

    in the air he has always been mediorce – to put it softly.


  9. Valdes is the best. Winning the Zamora where we have the like of Cassillas (who plays in a more defensive team and less likely to concede more goals) while Valdes plays in a team porous to conceding goals.
    Please, let's appreciate this guy, he has done his best and he's †ђξ best. Visca Barca!!!

  10. Victor Valdes has to go. His performance is poor, way under Barca's expectations. I take Maradona's statement as very realistic: "Barca is so good which makes even Valdes good and believe me he is no good". Really, Valdes appeared good to the novice in football because Barca's field players kept the ball away from him. When lately the oponents started getting more action Valdes proved unable to help the team. The jump in which almost killed Pique porved him not only good but RECKLESS.

  11. Rofhiwa Mapeta He is too much relaxed he don't have any challenge and as a result he end up conceding stupid go. Ramirez goal in Champions League was his silly mistake at the camp nou. Barca needs young flexible goal keeper with similar reflexes as Valdez to optimize challenge for him so that he realize if he mess up the is a spontaneous replacement for him on the bench.

  12. I'm not sure If i support You on that statement. Valdez is good and i respect him a lot! But it's one of our weaker spots on the team and saying that he is the best in the world I'm sure he is'nt. But yes he's good enough to take a season more 🙂 however I hope we find some new keeper talents soon though

  13. Actually very smart opinion about keepers from You. At a moment this is best solution for Barca. Few times ago Valdes started to be little bit lazy, but now he`s again on top. Visca Barca!

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