“I receive this award with pride, but behind it is a lot of work done by the team,” said Valdés as he picked up his individual achievement award.
It was an Azulgrana party a the Palau of the Catalonia Congress, which hosted the Festa de l'Esport Català gala (Catalan Sporing Awards) organized by the UFEC (Athletic Cataln Federations Organization) and the newspaper SPORT. Víctor Valdés and Navarro were FC Barcelona’s award winners.
The keeper, with permission from the Club didn’t train this afternoon, believes the team will be competing at the top level for a long time and that the players are still eager to win: “We have shown that we want to win a lot of titles. When we lift a trophy, we do it as if it was our first. We want to win more.” The keeper, who won the Best Catalan Athlete of the Year award, praised Guardiola: “Day in and day out, he’s a maestro. Each training session is like going to class at University. He never allows you to relax. He taught me how to enjoy the game and to play team football.”
Winner of four Zamora awards (keeper that concedes the least amount of goals in the League), and the keeper with the most games in the history of the Club, wins the award after the two team captains, Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol claimed it in previous years. Valdés believes he was awarded the accolade because “of his brilliant trajectory defending the Azulgrana goal, also because of the team’s success on the pitch ... this means a lot to me. I receive this award with pride, but behind it is a lot of work done by the team.”
The keeper also wanted to praise the team’s successful Club World Cup bid in Japan: “It’s a title that’s really important to us. We all must respect this title a bit more, because it’s difficult to win it.”
Valdés wasn’t the only Barça player to receive an award, the whole FC Barcelona team was awarded the Best Male Team of 2011 as well. President Sandro Rosell, accompanied by Víctor Valdés, received the award for the team. Vice Presidents Carles Vilarrubí and Josep Maria Bartomeu, and directors Silvio Elías, Manel Arroyo, Jordi Mestre, Jordi Moix, Toni Freixa and Manel Estiarte were also present at the gala.
The captain of Barça Regal, Juan Carlos Navarro, won the Most Universal Catalan Athlete award. His merits with the Club, champion of the ACB, Cup and Spanish Super Cup, and his success with the Spanish national team, where he was awarded MVP of the Eurobasket tournament, were pivotal to his selection by the jury. Joan Creus, basketball technical secretary, received the award for the player: “He’s injured and on top of that he has gastroenteritis and a fever of 39º,” said Creus.
The player sustained his injury against Caja Laboral this Sunday and he will be out of action for three to four weeks. (via FCBarcelona.cat)