I want to emulate 'Barca's best ever' Valdes, says Masip

The 25-year-old is relishing the competition for the No.1 spot at Camp Nou next season and says he is eager to see Luis Suarez join up with the team
Barcelona goalkeeper Jordi Masip says he is looking forward to the competition for the No.1 shirt next season as he looks to emulate Victor Valdes, whom he believes to be the best keeper in the club's history.

The Spain international, currently sidelined with a knee injury, opted to leave Camp Nou this year at the end of his contract after a remarkable 12 years in the senior side, during which time he won 21 major titles - including three Champions Leagues.

Barca moved quickly to replace the 32-year-old, bringing in Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo, while new head coach Luis Enrique made it clear B team stalwart Masip would be part of his plans for the 2014-15 campaign.

And Masip says he is relishing the prospect of fighting for the first team - especially since Valdes himself named him as his potential long-term successor.

"What Victor said flatters me a lot. I have a lot of respect for him, he is a mirror in which I look at myself," he told reporters.

"I will try to someday achieve what he has. I know it will be difficult because he is the best keeper in Barca's history and an idol for me.

"I'm very excited to get some minutes and to help the team win every title, play a good game and make the fans happy. 

"I've always played with competition, ever since I was young. It's good because it helps you improve.

"He's [Ter Stegen] a good guy who wants to learn a lot, to learn Catalan and Castillian. He's a very good goalkeeper with good footwork, strong in the air and with plenty of room to grow."

Masip, who worked with Luis Enrique during the former midfielder's time as B team coach at Camp Nou, said the club's new head coach has evolved during his time with Roma and Celta Vigo in recent seasons.

"The idea is the same as when we were in the B team, the same intensity and enthusiasm. The idea is the same but something has evolved, as he has been at more teams.

"But he has a great character, he helps us a lot, he talks to us."

Finally, Masip admitted he was relishing the prospect of Luis Suarez's arrival at the club and refused to comment on the Uruguayan's four-month ban from football for biting during the World Cup.

"I will not judge the penalty because it's a matter for the club. I want him here as soon as possible to help the team and give a lot of joy."