Barcelona have sacked former goalkeeper Victor Valdes as Under-19s manager, following an alleged bust-up with club legend and current director of youth football Patrick Kluivert, according to Goal.
The former shot-stopper, who also turned out for Manchester United and Middlesbrough during his career, spent 12 years at Barcelona, winning six La Liga titles and three European Cups with the Spanish giants.
Valdes only took over as manager of the club’s ‘Juvenil A’ team in July – five years after ending his career as a player with the Catalan titans – but has already been giving his marching orders.
He was expected to oversee the development of Barca’s next generation of stars in his recent role as academy manager. However, it is being reported that Valdes and Kluivert do not see eye to eye and have been at loggerheads ever since he became U19s manager in the summer.
Valdes was not present during the youth team’s 2-1 win at Gimnastic de Tarragona on Saturday, and was officially sacked by the club on Monday morning.
Barcelona have released a statement on their website, which reads: “FC Barcelona has told Victor Valdes that he is no longer the coach of Juvenil A and belonging to the Club.
“Artiga Franc, until now coach of Juvenil B and in the Masia since 2010, becomes the coach of Juvenil A.”
It’s reported that Kluivert was not the only person to disagree with Valdes’ approach during his 80 days in charge of the U19s.
The ex-Spain international raised eyebrows when he decided against using the 4-3-3 formation implemented throughout the club’s academy system, instead opting to play a more traditional 4-4-2 (via Goal).
It seems as though the writing may have been on the wall for Valdes from day one.
FourFourTwo claim that there was tension between Valdes and the club regarding him not being able to call-up U18 players into the squad when members of his U19 side were promoted to the club’s B team, alongside his disappointment that his side weren’t allowed to play at 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.”
All in all, the 37-year-old’s first taste of management wasn’t a memorable one — hopefully he’ll get some more joy elsewhere.
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