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Sep 22, 2013

Martino: Valdes will leave Barcelona

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has ruled out any attempt to renew Victor Valdes’ contract despite the goalkeeper again starring in the 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

• Ledwith: Not as easy as it sounds for Barca

The reigning La Liga champions remain at the top of the table after maintaining their 100% record in Spain, claiming their fifth straight domestic victory with the win over Vallecano.

Indeed, Barcelona are yet to taste defeat in all competitions this season.

However, the result away to Vallecano may have been very different had Valdes not saved a penalty when Barcelona were leading 1-0.

After the game, Martino heaped praise on Valdes, but admitted there would be no change in the 31-year-old’s plans to quit the club at the end of the season.

“I don’t think it’s for me to say [if Valdés is the best keeper in Spain],” Martino told a press conference.

“He’s in exceptional form, he’s among the top three Spanish keepers, and all I can do is enjoy it – although you would always rather not have to enjoy your goalkeeper’s display quite so much.

“He made three or four key saves, but there’s no chance of him renewing his contract.”

Again Martino had to wait for his side to take full control of the match, with all four goals scored after the opening half-hour of the match.

But the Argentine coach was happy with the victory, praising Barcelona’s opponents as “one of the boldest teams” in Spain.

“I was pleased with the second half,” Martino said. “Apart from Rayo’s chance at the end of the match, there was no defensive uncertainty.

“Just like in the last match against Ajax, we grew into the game. The team has goals in it, so if we can keep a clean sheet we’ll always have a chance.

“They are one of the boldest teams in Spanish football, although with such a small pitch their strategy becomes difficult to maintain.”

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