Valdes craves Champions League crown before Barcelona exit

The Blaugrana shot-stopper is hoping he will be a European champion when he leaves Camp Nou next summer and welcomed Gerardo Martino's arrival
Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes is craving Champions League success in his final season at Camp Nou.

The Spain international had announced last season that he does not intent to extend his current deal with the Catalans, which will expire in June 2014.

Valdes insists that he has not changed his mind about departing next summer but wants to make the most of his final 12 months by being crowned as a champion of Europe.

"My decision is irreversible. What I said at the time, I stand by and there is nothing more to add," the 31-year-old told AS.

"I'd like to leave after lifting another European Cup, that would be a very nice end to this cycle."

The goalkeeper regrets Tito Vilanova's departure from the club due to health issues, but feels new coach Gerardo Martino can bring success to the Catalan outfit.

"It is news that you never want to hear," he said. "He has been through a tough time and has had great misfortune. Now he has to focus on winning this game and I am sure that he will.

"Martino is someone that can be very close to the players. I have had the opportunity to chat with him and his staff.

"He is an ambitious person and he has a very large project in mind - he will want to put his mark on it. He has asked us not to get tired of winning."

Barca's rivals Real Madrid have strengthened their squad with the Spain starlets Asier Illarramendi, Isco and Daniel Carvajal but Valdes is confident that Neymar's arrival can cancel out their arch-rivals' summer progress

"[Carlo] Ancelotti is a great coach, Real Madrid have been reinforced with great players," the Barca shot-stopper added.

"Like every year, they are a force to be reckoned with. Madrid move up a notch every season and our obligation is to try and be a step ahead of that.

"We have to thank to the club for the great signing [of Neymar] and my experience tells me that big players are always tailored to play alongside each other.

"He is a player who has impressed me a lot, I was impressed at the Confederations Cup, he has improved a lot since I faced him at the Club World Cup [in December 2011]."