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Victor Valdes: I felt like retiring when I was frozen out at Man Utd

Victor Valdes was banished from the senior team by Louis van Gaal having been accused of refusing to play for Manchester United’s U21s.

Victor Valdes started in goal for Boro last weekend against Stoke.
Victor Valdes started in goal for Boro last weekend against Stoke.

MIDDLESBROUGH GOALKEEPER VICTOR Valdes holds no hard feelings toward Louis van Gaal or Manchester United after being frozen out of the club last season.

Valdes arrived at United on a free transfer in 2015 but after just two Premier League appearances, the three-time Champions League winner was quickly banished from the senior team having been accused of refusing to play for the U21 side.

Given a lifeline by Aitor Karanka at newly-promoted Middlesbrough, Valdes is enjoying his football again, however the 34-year-old insisted he is still a fan of former United and Barca boss van Gaal.

“I feel like a professional footballer again after all those hard days in Manchester,” Valdes told Sky Sports.

Britain Soccer Premier League Victor Valdes was frozen out at Old Trafford by van Gaal. Source: AP/Press Association Images

“It’s difficult to explain, but it was hard being alone. Sometimes at United I thought ‘I don’t need this’, but I am a fighter and a professional.

“This was the biggest fight of my career and I won it. The easy way out was to end my career but now I feel like a professional goalkeeper again.

“I don’t have any bad words for van Gaal or Manchester United. They helped me through my injury and the manager gave me my chance as a footballer at Barcelona and then again at United.

“He’s like a father figure to me. I don’t want to remember the last six months in a bad way – for me he is in the top. We are still friends and there is no problem between us.

“I want to say in a public way thank you to the U21 coach Alan Fettis – without him I may have given up football. He made me keep going and stopped me when I was thinking about bringing my career to an end.”

After making his Middlesbrough bow in the 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City last week, Valdes is back in action against Sunderland on Sunday.

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