In the past few seasons of Barcelona’s Spanish and European ascendancy, only Yaya Toure has walked away from the club of his volition.
Players that have been forced out, like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ibrahim Afellay, have gone on record to say that they would have rather stayed to prove themselves at the Camp Nou.
And so it is was with great interest that the football world heard of Barca ‘keeper Victor Valdes’ decision not to renew his contract with the Spanish league leaders.
The 31-year-old shot stopper is contracted to Barca until 2014, and the club would like for him to stay longer than that.
But interestingly and admirably, Valdes has decided that he wants to experience “other cultures, other leagues and other countries" before his football career is over.
Consequently, he has advised his representatives to spurn any invitation from Barca to discuss his future at the club.
"The agents of Victor Valdes have told FC Barcelona at a meeting this afternoon that he has made an irreversible decision not to renew his contract. This avoids the need to enter into any financial discussions," an authorised statement from the ‘keeper said, according to the EFE press agency.
Valdes has been at Barcelona for more than 20 years, after joining the club as a boy in 1992.
And with the club’s reserve ‘keeper Pinto himself 37-years-old, it will be interesting to see who Barca find to play between the sticks when Valdes seeks his fortune elsewhere.