Barcelona are still in the whole process of rebuilding their squad and with the hectic situation on the transfer market with the likes of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitić, it would be fairly easy to miss some other big stuff happening under the radar.
Namely, Victor Valdés’ appointment as Barcelona U19’s head coach and his first strides in his new managerial role.
His U19 Juvenil A team will start their preseason preparations on 29 July and will be appearing in the game to open the new Johan Cruyff Stadium on 27 August against the Ajax youth team. But Valdés did already tally one game under his belt and it was in a friendly as the young Blaugrana team secured a 3-1 victory.
Valdés was seemingly already well adjusted to his new role on the sidelines rather than in between the sticks. He was seen enthusiastically waving his arms and motivating the youngsters to do their best.
After the game, he said the following:
“Coaching the first team? It is my first week at Barça. I go step by step. I have changed a lot, I like to live a lot every day and see what I have around me. We will go step by step but I have ambition.”
What makes this even more interesting is the fact that the world expects Xavi to be the next big thing at Barcelona and somewhere along the way, other possible candidates were either simply dismissed or completely forgotten about. Valdés is definitely one of those.
He has his coaching credentials already set and is at the club, working his way up the ladder and the pecking order. Who’s to say that he doesn’t soon become the one to take the reigns of the senior team? Betway certainly believe he is a possiblity. Over at Betway soccer betting, they are already offering prices on the next Barcelona manager – will it be Valdes? Betway have their shortlist ready to choose from.
And who’s to say that would be a bad thing? Sure, most of the Culés are dying to see Xavi manage the squad but while that is a real possibility for the future, we shouldn’t disregard the fact that there are others waiting in line, as well.
Be that as it may, Barcelona have really started their overhaul with multiple ex-legends making their glorious returns to the club but in different roles than we’re used to seeing them.
Valdés is just one of them and if the latest reports coming from Spain are true, Carles Puyol might also follow his ex-teammate’s footsteps and rejoin the Blaugrana squad but this time, with a suit and a tie instead of his blades.
Some pretty interesting and exciting times lie ahead regardless of the outcomes of the transfer window.