Barcelona goalkeeper, Victor Valdes, has likely played the last match of his career at Camp Nou, and will miss the World Cup after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during his side’s 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo.
Valdes, who had inidicated earlier this season that he will leave the Blaugrana, had jumped to stop a free-kick in the 22nd minute, but feel awkwardly on his knee when he landed. He was subsequently stretchered off the field with his gloves covering the face.
The club confirmed seriousness of the injury on their website, saying: “Victor Valdes suffers ACL tear. The club’s medical services confirm the player will need surgery.”
Barcelona coach, Gerardo Martino, said after the match: “It’s a very hard blow, but this team has lived blow to blow for a long time and we will move forward.
“At this point in the season I thought that everything that was going to happen to us had already happened.
“(We have) experienced these types of things many times this season,” Martino added in reference to the long absences of Messi, Neymar, Jordi Alba and Puyol. Valdés also had already missed eight matches this season following his calf injury in the game against Bafana Bafana.
In addition, Andres Iniesta, who produced another fine display, was substituted as a precaution at half-time after he signalled some pain in his thigh.
The Spain international had asked to be taken off to safeguard against injury now that Barcelona are entering the final stages of the season and are challenging for three trophies.
Martino added that he won’t use the Valdes injury as excuse, but that it was obvious to see that it affected the performance of his players.
“I liked the first half. I didn’t like our second half but I don’t want to go overboard with my analysis because the game was marked by an action (Valdés) that really hurt us.
“Independently of the pain that this news brings us, I will not use it as an excuse,” he concluded.
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