Why legend Victor Valdes was sacked as a Barcelona youth coach after 80 days

A former legend parting ways so quickly shows the fault lines within the club.

Barcelona have confirmed that they have sacked Victor Valdes as their youth team coach despite only appointing him this past summer.

The 37-year-old came through the youth ranks at the Catalan giants himself and went on to enjoy a glittering playing career at the Nou Camp. Having made over 500 appearances for the senior side while winning countless honours including six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies, there is no doubt that the Spaniard has written his name into the history books for Barcelona.

However, his start to life as a coach hasn’t gone to plan, as Mundo Deportivo note that Barcelona have confirmed that Valdes has been sacked from his position as youth team coach. The former Manchester United and Middlesbrough goalkeeper was named coach of Barcelona’s U-19 team, Juvenil A, in July.

The report goes on to reveal that there were several clashes behind the scenes with other club figures and officials, and it seems as though it eventually led to the decision from the reigning Spanish champions that the current set-up wasn’t working.

It wasn’t a good start for the former Blaugrana goalkeeper, who made 535 appearances for his beloved club from 2002-14 and won 11 major honors. In his first game as coach against Girona, Valdes was sent off for cursing at the referee – and duly earned a two-game ban for his troubles.

© Bildbyrån

Things went from bad to worse when Valdes clashed with academy director and former team-mate Patrick Kluivert on Friday. According to Marca, Kluivert reproached Valdes for not playing a 4-3-3 formation, with the ex-goalkeeper replying that his preference was to set the team up in a 4-4-2.

The pair also fell out over the treatment of La Masia prospect Ilaix Moriba. Journalist Carles Escolan reported that after Valdes dropped him for a match against Lleida, Moriba and his parents complained to Kluivert, leading to Valdes telling the youngster that he shouldn’t have gone above his head to grumble about playing time.

The tension led to Valdes not being allowed to call up under-18 players to fill gaps in his side when under-19 youngsters were promoted to Barcelona’s B team.

Valdes was also unhappy that his side were not allowed to play in the Estadi Johan Cruyff, the stadium where Barcelona B and women’s team play. “I thought that was going to be our stadium,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s not like that, but I am still fighting.”

There was a UEFA sanction handed down to Barcelona as a result of Valdes and his team arriving to a UEFA Youth League game against Inter Milan half an hour late. As a result, Barcelona have decided to axe Valdes despite the fact that he only took the job a matter of months ago, with Franc Artiga now taking his place as he gets a promotion.


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