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Valdés: Man Utd coach Fettis kept me from giving up game

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Middlesbrough goalkeeper also insisted he's "still friends" with former United manager Louis van Gaal.

Valdés: Man Utd coach Fettis kept me from giving up game
Carl Recine REUTERS

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Víctor Valdés has admitted he could well have walked away from football had it not been for Manchester United academy goalkeeping coach Alan Fettis.

Ex-Barcelona custodian Valdés joined Boro this summer after being released by United, ending a nightmare spell at Old Trafford during which he made just two appearances.

Fettis "made me keep going"

Signed in January 2015, the 34-year-old was banished from the first-team picture after a falling-out with former Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal that July, spending much of his time training with Fettis.

"I want to say in a public way thank you to the U21 coach Alan Fettis," Valdés told Sky Sports. "Without him I may have given up football. He made me keep going and stopped me when I was thinking about bringing my career to an end."

Valdés spent three months on loan at Belgian side Standard Liege last season.

On Van Gaal: "We are still friends"

Despite his bust-up with Van Gaal - who he also worked with at Barça at the beginning of his career - Valdés insisted he still counts the Dutchman among his friends.

"I don't have any bad words for Van Gaal or Manchester United," said the former Spain international, a starter in Middlesbrough's opening-day Premier League draw with Stoke City.

"They helped me through my injury and the manager gave me my chance as a footballer at Barcelona and then again at United.

"He's like a father figure to me. I don't want to remember the last six months in a bad way. For me he is in the top. We are still friends and there is no problem between us."