BELGIUM

Víctor Valdés makes return to action in Standard Liege win

The Spanish keeper made his debut for the Belgians in a league triumph over OH Leuven – eight months on from last featuring in first-team football.

Víctor Valdés makes return to action in Standard Liege win

Víctor Valdés feels like a footballer again. Having signed for Standard Liege on loan earlier in January, the goalkeeper made his debut for the Belgian side in a 2-0 Jupiler Pro League win over OH Leuven on Saturday – his opening taste of first-team action since the final day of the 2014-15 Premier League campaign.

The 34-year-old has been through the mill since the day in March 2014 when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Barcelona’s 3-0 La Liga victory against Celta Vigo, in what would be his last appearance for the Azulgranas.

The injury saw a move to Ligue 1 club Monaco fall through, the custodian left without a club as he tackled his recuperation. In October that year, he began training with Manchester United in a bid to complete his recovery, and in January 2015 reached an agreement to sign for the club. It did not turn out well.

A year into his 18-month deal with the Red Devils – after a total of two appearances and a spate of problems with United manager Louis van Gaal – he found himself on his way out of Old Trafford via the back door.

In Standard, he has arrived at a club plying its trade outside of the continent’s major leagues, but that doesn’t matter to Valdés. “I feel happy,” he declared on the eve of his bow for the outfit. In Liege, the man who won it all in Barcelona is now out to add another prize to his collection: redemption.