Next season, after the announcement of the Barcelona legend as manager of the fourth-tier club Unio Atletica d’Horta, Victor Valdes will take the plunge into football management.
Since hanging up his gloves in 2017, the 38-year-old has been employed as a mentor, having taken on positions at his former club as well as Moratalaz. He left his job as Barcelona’s academy coach in October 2019.
‘We hope you have much success at the head of our club,’ announced the Spanish minnows on social media.
The next challenge for Valdes will present an immense change of scenery to the luxuries he has been enjoying in Catalonia. The stadium of Unio Atletica d’Horta has a capacity of just 2,500 and the club has never played at a higher level than the third tier. Last year the Spaniard had a very public spat with Patrick Kluivert, director of La Masia, which led to his sacking as the under-19 coach of the academy.
‘FC Barcelona reported on Monday that Víctor Valdés is no longer a U19A coach and is no longer hired by the Club,’ a Barca statement read last year in October.
Valdes’ playing career has taken a rapid decline since leaving the club in 2014. The Spanish World Cup winner has retired after playing for Middlesbrough three years ago after two unsuccessful years at Manchester United and a short loan spell at Belgian side Standard Liege.
Valdes left Barcelona in 2014 after 12 seasons with the first team, winning six LaLiga Santander titles, Supercopa de Espana, three Champions Leagues, two Copa del Rey trophies, two Club World Cups and two European Super Cups.