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The shot-stopper recently announced his decision not to extend his Barcelona contract, and his midfield colleague has hailed his contribution to the team down the years

Andres Iniesta has clamied that Barcelona team-mate Victor Valdes is the best goalkeeper in the world.

It was confirmed last week that the Spain international would not be extending his Blaugrana deal, and while the midfielder does not want to see the 31-year-old leave the club, he respects his desire to move onto pastures new.

"It's a personal decision. As a player, I do not like losing Victor because he is the best goalkeeper in the world for me," the 28-year-old told reporters at a press conference.

"As a person, I do respect and support his decision, however, because everyone is the master of his own life. Victor began at the club 10 years ago, has gone through it all, and his work cannot be called into question.

"He had to overcome difficult times but was able to win five championships. Titles that have defined Barca in recent years.

"Victor's quality and significance in this team is there for all to see. For me he is the best in the world.

"We have to keep fighting for titles. Víctor is still a Barca player now and the end of the season or year and a half and we should all be smart."

Valdes' current contract with Barca expires in June 2014.

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