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The Catalan stoppper insists that the Blaugrana are already focusing on next season, and defeating Real Madrid...

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes is under no illusions that he and his team-mates must be ready for the new season, and is adamant that the successes of 2008/09 have already been consigned to history.

The 27-year old was an integral part of Barcelona’s now-famous Triplete triumph, and he was rewarded for his efforts with a new contract that is likely to see Valdes finish his career at the Camp Nou.

Securing his future rounded off a dream year, and Marca reports that Valdes said of the season ahead, “This campaign is sure to be very intense. The aim is to gain any title, but of course it is our dream to win the Champions League again, especially in Madrid.”

When asked his opinion on the challenge that the Real Madrid of Manuel Pellegrini pose to his sides’ attempt to retain the Primera Division title, Valdes admitted that although Los Merengues have strengthened, it is important that the Catalans concentrate on their own squad.

He added, “The Triplete is something that stays in the past. We have to defend our trophies, and we know that it will be complicated.

“It is true that Real Madrid have reinforced very well, but we must learn to disconnect from that and to focus on ourselves.”

Finally, Valdes stated that he is unconcerned with playing second fiddle to Iker Casillas and that comparisons between the two are something that he cannot control.

He concluded, “It is something that the mass media control, and I do not enter into it. People always like to compare players from Real Madrid and Barcelona.”

Paul Macdonald, Goal.com


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