Víctor Valdés at El Mundo Magazine
On the last page of each issue of El Mundo Magazine, they have an interview with a famous person, focusing on the shoes that person wears. This Sunday’s interviewee is Víctor Valdés, and his chosen shoes are Havaianas flip flops in a size 43, costing 22 euros, because “they symbolize my life philosophy – I’ve always liked the beach, living close to the sea.”
How do you see the world from those sandals?
I’ve always seen it in the same way: with a desire to improve and work hard, and with humility.
And from a goal?
It’s different, especially from that of Barcelona, a very special place where you can’t relax even for one minute.
Is it very big or very small?
It’s as big as it needs to be. They say that you’re the first field player of Barça… that’s what the coach tries to transmit to us and I accept that role with pride.
As a child, were you good with the ball between your feet?
I’ve always liked it. I’ve been a goalkeeper since I was small, but I’ve always liked playing as a player. I have a better time doing that than when I’m a goalkeeper.
So how did you end up there?
One day my brother tried me out in the goal at home, and then he spoke with the coach of the team he was playing with at that moment. Everything happened quickly after that. I joined Barcelona when I was 10.
Is it the least rewarding position?
I don’t know if it’s the least, but it is an unrewarding position. There are days when only two shots are taken against you and they end up as goals.
Who have been the best goalkeepers?
Kahn and Cañizares. In Barcelona, Zubizarreta and Ramallets.
What is the first thing you notice about a forward?
If he sees the space well, if he composes himself well, if he shoots outside of the area…
And about a woman?
Is Sunday the best day of the week?
If you won, yes. It’s a tough day in which you have to endure many things.
What bores you?
Having a free day without wind, because I like windsurfing. And reading a book bores me too.
What is the most boring one you’ve read?
It’s better not to say, but I’ve stopped reading some after two minutes.
And the best?
The two that Lance Armstrong wrote, those I did like.
A food and a drink.
Rice and Coca Cola, and once in a while, beer.
AC/DC’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Empty Sky.”
Is the sky empty?
Well, leaders are needed.
Do you speak to the ball like Di Stéfano?
No, I don’t speak to it. I try to get it and then see what happens…
In life, have you had to clear many things up?
Very many, but I’ve also received good compensation.
What is the best save you’ve made?
I would say having my son.
Where would you like to leave a legacy?
In my family. I want my children to feel proud.
Who would you step on?
What is the pebble in your shoe?
Whose shoes would you like to put on?
Gandhi. And those of my father.
What talent would you like to have?
You must have stunk at least once…
Yes, of course that’s happened before. A goalkeeper has to take risks and when you take risks, sometimes you end up doing badly.
In what are you good at?
In sleeping. As soon as I get into bed, I fall asleep.
And what are you a disaster at?
I’ve been quite bad at studying, neither numbers nor letters work for me.
What is your most valuable possession?
I’m very religious and I have a small altar that I’m very devoted to.
Do you pray?
Yes, it helps me to know that there’s someone who’s protecting me.
Do you do that in Spanish or Catalan?
In Spanish. At home, we always speak in Spanish. With my friends, I speak Catalan more.
Do you have any nicknames?
My teammates have always called me “double,” for the double “V” (his initials). And in Tenerife, they called me “El Cata,” short for “the Catalan.”
When was the last time you cried?
When we won the last Champions. I cry a lot. I’ve become more sentimental with time, I have no problems in saying that.
A good insult.
Not stepping on lines, both on the field and off.
You never leave the house without…
How do you spend seven million euros a year (the amount that he renewed his contract for in 2009)?
In reality, by not spending it. You have to save. And I’m quite prudent.