Valdés in 2010
|Full name||Víctor Valdés i Arribas|
|Date of birth||14 January 1982|
|Place of birth||L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 May 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
He is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Barcelona's history, having won a total of 19 titles including five La Liga titles, three Champions League titles, and two Copa del Rey titles. He also has won the Zamora Trophy a record five times. He currently holds the club records as goalkeeper with most appearances in the league and in official competition, breaking Andoni Zubizarreta's records during the 2011–12 season. Before joining the full team in 2002–03 season, Valdés played for the youth teams and FC Barcelona B.
Born in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia, to José Manuel Valdés and Águeda Arribas and has two brothers, elder Ricardo and younger Álvaro, Valdés started his career with FC Barcelona's youth team when he joined from Peña Cinco Copas on 1 July 1992. But in September, he moved with his family to Tenerife and had to leave the club, rejoining only three years later. After returning, he made quick progress through the youth teams.
In the 2003–04 season, he emerged as first-choice goalkeeper, and in the 2004–05 season, he played in almost all of Barcelona's matches helping Barcelona to their first league title in six years. He also won the Zamora Trophy for the best goalkeeper in Spain.
In the 2005–06 season, he helped Barça to the double. He played a big part in Barça's 2005–06 title and in the final against Arsenal, he denied Thierry Henry twice from point-blank range. His efforts saw him singled out for praise from Frank Rijkaard. The "Zamora" title, however, eluded him as Valdés came third after Santiago Cañizares and the winner, José Manuel Pinto.
On 17 June 2007, the last round in La Liga, Valdés matched a goalkeeping record held by Barcelona legend Andoni Zubizarreta; a record of starting, and never being substituted, in all 38 matches of the La Liga season.
Valdés set the Barcelona club record for not conceding a goal in European competition with a clean sheet against Rangers on 7 November 2007, which saw him re-write the Barça record books after not conceding a goal for 466 minutes. Valdés was beaten twice by Olympique Lyonnais' captain Juninho through a 45-yard free kick and a late penalty at the Stade de Gerland, ending his streak. In the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons, however, Barça failed to win a major trophy. On 1 April 2008, Valdés made his 250th appearance for Barcelona.
On 27 May 2009, Barcelona beat Manchester United 2–0 in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final to complete an unprecedented Treble of La Liga, Champions League, and Copa del Rey. In the match, Valdés made two crucial saves from attempts by Cristiano Ronaldo in both halves. In the first half, he saved a long-range free kick, and in the second half, he saved the other from Ronaldo, coming from a tight angle following a low cross from Dimitar Berbatov.
On 16 August 2005, Valdés was called-up for a friendly game against Uruguay, but he did not make a debut. On 20 May 2010, he was included in Spain's final 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as the third-choice goalkeeper behind Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina respectively, wearing the No. 12 shirt.
On 3 June 2010, Valdés earned his first cap by starting in a friendly match between Spain and South Korea at Tivoli-Neu in Innsbruck, Austria. Coincidentally it was 10 years to the day since compatriot Iker Casillas made his debut for the national team. In July 2010, he won the 2010 World Cup with Spain. He won his second cap in Spain's 1–1 draw against Mexico, coming on as a second-half substitute for Iker Casillas.
|Spain national team|
Valdés has a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, Yolanda Cardona. In 20 August 2009 Cardona gave birth to the couple's first child, son Dylan Valdés Cardona in Barcelona. His second child, Kai Valdés Cardona was born on 16 November 2012.
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