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The Spain international was enthused by the performance of not only 20-year-old forward Cristian Tello but also Isaac Cuenca and Jonathan Dos Santos against Real Sociedad

After seeing Cristian Tello score his first goal for Barcelona in Saturday night's 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad, goalkeeper Victor Valdes hailed the club's youth system as the best in the world.

The Catalans have been beset by injuries of late but former Espanyol ace Tello stepped up to the mark at Camp Nou, notching the opener as Pep Guardiola's men kept in touch with leaders Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Valdes was enthused by the performance of not only Tello, but also Isaac Cuenca and Jonathan Dos Santos.

“I want to congratulate him [Tello] for his first goal with the first team," the Spain international told the club's official website. "We have the best youth system in the world.

“It’s been a hard day, it’s very cold, but we played well. It was a very close result, the supporters were suffering because of us but we fought until the end.

"In general terms, the team was on form."

With Madrid having defeated Getafe 1-0 earlier in the evening to temporarily pull 10 points clear at the top of the table, victory was, as Valdes admitted, imperative for Barca.

“It’s important to win all the games that we have to play," he admitted. "We are in a situation that leaves us with no margin of error, we have to keep on winning three points each week and wait for Madrid to stumble.”

Barca must now turn their attention away from La Liga, with Valencia in town on Wednesday night for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final. Valdes admits that the tie is delicately poised after last week's 1-1 draw at Mestalla.

“We must play a good game," he stated. "Valencia will come to score a goal and we must be careful until the end."

Barca's next league outing is against Osasuna in Pamplona next weekend.

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