Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes confirmed today that he will leave the club once his current contract expires in the summer of 2014, explaining that the mental exhaustion caused by the "responsibility and pressure" of his position was behind his reason to eventually move on.
"Being the goalkeeper at the club is a big weight to carry and I have felt it since I was very young," Valdes said in a press conference at the Camp Nou. "It is a position that carries with it a lot of responsibility, there is a lot of pressure on you, and the demands I put on myself to make sure Barça win is a heavy weight to carry too."
The 31-year-old Valdes, who has been in the Barcelona first team for 12 years and who made his 500th appearance for the Azulgrana earlier this month, insisted that his decision to move on is "irrevocable" and that his mind was already made up when he rejected the offer of a new deal in January.
"I consider that my cycle as a Barcelona player will come to an end when my current contract expires in 2014," said Valdes, who nevertheless gave no details regarding possible interest in him from elsewhere.
"I understand that with 18 months' warning there should be sufficient time to find the best solution for the club and for the player, so that Barca keep on winning and so do I," he explained. "In January, I said I could see myself playing in other leagues, getting to know something different and looking for different sources of motivation."