Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has dedicated the 1-0 win over rivals Espanyol to goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who suffered a serious knee injury a few weeks ago.
Valdes has long been Barcelona’s number one goalkeeper, but he announced his decision to leave the club in the summer. His contract runs out in less than a few months, but the former Barcelona youth team product has not revealed his next destination. However, it now looks certain that he will miss the World Cup and also up to 7 months of football after suffering anterior cruciate ligament injury while playing against Celta de Vigo.
Due to his immense contribution to Barcelona over the years, Valdes will forever be regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers to have represented the club. Martino paid tribute to the goalkeeper and also has dedicated this win to the player who will now leave the club on the stretcher. Being carried off on a stretcher will not be the send-off Valdes would have been hoping after more than 10 years of service to the club. On the other hand, the win was also good news for Barcelona, as it helped them keep in touch with leaders Atletico Madrid.
Three teams are involved in the title race in the Spanish league this season.
"We were expecting a game like this. Espanyol's pressure improved (after the first 15 minutes) and we had to resort to longer passes. Espanyol are very well prepared to take control of follow-up plays. We want to dedicate this victory to him. I see one good thing and one bad thing. The good thing is that derbies are always derbies and they have to be won. It was a risky away game. On the other hand, we still have very difficult (games) that are very important,” said Martino.