El Centrocampista


Barcelona stopper Victor Valdes is one of the most talented goalkeepers in modern football.

The 29-year-old has won almost everything with his club including; three UEFA Champions League titles, five league titles, one Copa del Rey, five Spanish supercups, two UEFA supercups and one FIFA world club cup.

He has also collected the coveted Zamora trophy, given to the best goalkeeper each season in La Liga, on four occasions.

Although he has won only seven caps for his country, due to the unfortunate timing of being around at the same time as the wonderfully gifted Iker Casillas, Valdes will go down as won of the greatest keepers in the history of La Liga.

But how good is he?

Many argue that being in goal for a side that regularly has between 70% and 80% possession of the football during matches makes his job easy.

Some even claim he has the easiest job in football in fact, and looking at his stats this season, there may be some truth in that claim.

Astonishingly, Valdes has only made more than two saves in a match once this season, against Sevilla where he made three.

In eight La Liga games, he has made less than two saves, in four of then he hasn’t even made one.

Obviously these stats aren’t at all related to a lack of talent from the Barcelona goalkeeper, just a lack of opportunity to prove his worth.

The only team to have scored a league goal against Valdes during a match when he didn’t make a save, is Valencia in week five, and los che only had this one shot on target.

Their other in the 2-2 draw was an own-goal by Eric Abidal.

Talking about shots on target, in three games this season, against Granada, Mallorca and in the last game against Zaragoza, the opposition didn’t even have one effort on target.

In fact, Barcelona’s opponents this season have not had more than four on target all game.

Compared to other goalkeepers in La Liga, we can see how easy things have been for Valdes.

Barça’s stopper has only faced 19 shots on target, while the average La Liga goalkeeper has received 39, Roberto from Granada tops the league with 80.

Javi Varas who is having an incredible season has received 56 while Casillas 43.

On average Barcelona have faced only 1.58 shots on target per game while the average team concedes 4.49 shots.

So far, there isn’t one goalkeeper in La Liga who has allowed less shots on average, per game than Valdes; not even Riesgo from Osasuna who has played only 45 minutes all season.

One incredible stat is that four teams in La Liga, Zaragoza (80), Granada (75), Racing (64) and Osasuna (63) have allowed more shots on target than the amount of total shots conceded altogether by Barcelona (62).

Valdes is clearly on his way to his fifth Zamora, which will be his fourth consecutive, as he has already kept nine clean sheets in 12 games.

Last year he kept 17 in 32 matches.

The goalkeeper has been a virtual spectator so far this season, especially at home where he still hasn’t been beaten, watching his team dominate possession of the ball more than ever before – Barça top the league with an average possession per game of 72%.

Despite these incredible statistics and the fact that Victor Valdes may currently have the easiest job in football, nothing should detract from his achievements as a player.

That he can remain focused during the full 90 minutes of a game despite the lack of intervention on his behalf, then prove up to the task when he is called into action, is testament to how good a goalkeeper he really is.

One Comment

  1. Joe

    27 November, 2011 at 12:31

    Hardly does anything all game though does he, completes the most passes of any goalkeeper in the league, keeps busy all game.


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