Despite winning the champions league on three occasions, La Liga on 5 occasions and the Copa Del Rey, it is surprising that Valdes has failed to achieve success on the international stage.
Despite having a better goals conceded record for the last 10 consecutive season compared to Spain’s first choice goalie Iker Casillas, Valdes has never been able to challenge his international counterpart for the no 1 shirt for the national side.
Valdes was even selected as third choice keeper during the World cup in South Africa, with Liverpool’s Pepe Reina being chosen above him. In fact Valdes only received his first cap in 2010 post world cup.
Now 30, Valdes future at Spanish giants Barcelona is increasingly uncertain with strong rumours linking 25 year old Goalkeeper Vicente Guaita for a move from Valencia to the Nou Camp with a view to challenging Valdes for his place and to replace him for the long term. Valdes who joined the Catalonian side as part of the clubs youth programme, will no doubt feel hard done by that his time at the top seems set to be cut short.
In essence this begs the question of to what extent goalkeepers are appreciated in modern football. Not many would list Valdes in the list of Barcelona’s best player, when the likes of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta among over grabbing the headlines.
Despite this, legendary goalkeepers such as Casillas, Kahn or Gordon Banks to name a few all enjoyed long spells for their national team, receiving lots of praise and often highlighted as key to their teams success. However none of these keepers have achieved what Valdes has off the international stage. Clearly it seems for goalkeepers to really achieve a lasting legacy, they must win that coveted international shirt and keep it.