Victor Valdes has already made an impact at Manchester United after inspiring the club’s U-21’s to a win over Liverpool on Monday.
The former Barcelona goalkeeper, who joined United on a free transfer during the January transfer window, made his debut in United colours in the U-21’s 2-1 victory at the Leigh Sports Village last night. It was his first competitive game since recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury which he picked up in Barcelona’s clash with Celta Vigo last year and the Spaniard enjoyed a fairly comfortable outing after a 10 month absence.
United youth coach Warren Joyce revealed after the game that Valdes delivered an inspirational speech to motivate the dressing room, giving an insight into the motivational methods of Bayern coach Pep Guardiola who he played under during his time at the Camp Nou.
The Spaniard asked Joyce to play a video outlining the story of veteran American athlete Dick Hoyt, who pushed his quadriplegic son Rick in specially adapted wheelchairs while contesting marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.
Joyce said: “He’s a very humble guy, a model pro. He’s worked hard, he’s interacted with the boys. Even in his first few weeks he’s been telling stories.”
“He told us some things that (Pep) Guardiola used to do at Barcelona. We have mornings where we have motivational speeches where the lads have to find out their own information and he come up with a boy and his dad who do the marathon together.”
“If you YouTube it it’s an unbelievable story.”
Joyce also praised Valdes for his focus for Monday’s game, claiming he showed more intensity than many of the youngsters who have recently featured for the first team or have just returned from a loan move from another club.
He added: “I thought he was more focused than a couple of the ones who have played for first team and have been out on loan coming back to this level.”
“Some of the first team lads, I didn’t think they were as up for it as he was really, so there was a couple of stern words at half-time!”
“For him to come and play his first game for Manchester United and have that kind of attitude was testament to him.”
Written by Jash Mehta [@the_manutd_blog]