Home > Case for the Defence, La Liga > Is Spain’s Number 1 also Spain’s Best Goalkeeper?

Is Spain’s Number 1 also Spain’s Best Goalkeeper?

Looking back over the years you would find it difficult to recall when was the last time that Real Madrid and Spain captain Iker Casillas was not “number 1” whenever he’s been available for selection. Since making his club debut in 1999, he’s effectively been first choice at Real Madrid, from the tender age of 18. He went on to make his international debut only a few days after representing Real Madrid in the successful 2000 Champions League Final, having just 19 years of age. It would be the summer of 2002 that he would be promoted to first choice in the national side, starting off at the World Cup in Japan/Korea. He hasn’t looked back since. He’s set himself up as a constant in the ever-evolving institution at Real Madrid.

At international level, though, a few talented keepers have been around the team over the years, including Santiago Canizarez, the man who he’d displaced, Diego Lopez, Pepe Reina, and Victor Valdes, Barcelona’s number one. Valdes only began getting called up to the national side, when contrary to popular belief, also known as speculation in the Madrid press, it was proven that he would not be a bad influence in the dressing room of the national side even when he knew he would rarely get a start, just like Pepe Reina had accepted before him. Valdes, like Reina, has gone on to improve team harmony and add to the spirit that exists between the team-mates, although it must be said that the national side players, namely the Barcelona and Real Madrid contingent have yet to share three or four weeks together in tournament mode since Jose Mourinho arrived in Spain to take the competitive nature of “El Clasico” to another level.

Now, only 30 years old, Casillas, practically a baby in goalkeeper years, has amassed over 600 matches for Real Madrid and 127 caps for Spain. He’s also won every major club and international trophy before he turned 30. His clean cut image in the media as well as his undoubted ability and talent in goal has meant that he’s virtually never had any competition in the Real Madrid goal.

Valdes is a talented keeper in his own right, with some believing that in recent years he’s played at a higher, more consistent, level than Casillas. Whilst this may be tantamount to blasphemy in Spain, we’ve found the holy ground where we could analyze this assertion without the fear for our lives. Before comparing the respective keepers performances over the past three seasons, you’d be forgiven if you had forgotten that VV, as he’s know in some quarters, has been around for almost as long as Casillas. A product of La Masia, Valdes made his debut under Raddy Antic during the 2002/3 season at the age of 21. He would go on to displace Roberto Bonano (remember him?), and establish himself as regular first choice by the start of the next season. He would win the league title by the age of 23, Barcelona’s first in 6 years. He’s also won every club trophy that there is on offer before the age of 30. He’s won the World Cup in 2010 but is yet to pick up the European Championships trophy, although he may well change that this summer.

Victor has also won more Zamora trophies than his counterpart Iker. For those of you who don’t know, the Zamora is an award given to the goalkeeper in La Liga with the lowest goals to games ratio. VV has picked it up 4 times as opposed to the solitary success of Casillas. Valdes, however, has always fallen short in international recognition and plaudits when compared to Iker. Be it reputation, popularity, the memory of early promise, or a stronger, more influential press behind him, Iker Casillas excels on that front. It was as late as last season, in the midst of Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Barcelona, when sections of the broadcast British media highlighted Victor Valdes as a weak link and an average keeper who Arsenal can take advantage of. It was obvious they hadn’t watched VV closely since his floppy-hair years.

Voices from Barcelona have been saying for a while now that Victor Valdes deserves to be Spain’s first choice goalkeeper. It’s our purpose here to highlight and compare the performances of both keepers largely over the last 2 and a half seasons, including the on-going campaign, in order to draw certain conclusions and not to express a matter of opinion. We will compare and contrast both keepers performances, across a range of categories including shot stopping, passing skills, types of goals conceded, clean sheets as well as having a brief look at their respective records in the Champions League, in the hope of making concrete assertions in answering the question at hand.

Shot Stopping

It’s widely accepted that both goalkeepers are excellent shot stoppers, possibly outside England, where Iker Casillas was once called a “lucky goalkeeper who is always in the right position” by Ron Atkinson. Regardless, statistics prove that both keepers are among the best in Europe and have been for a long time. It has probably taken VV a little longer to receive acknowledgement for his ability though. Valdes has really emerged with a reputation under Pep Guardiola’s reign where he has become an integral part of the way Barcelona play in his position of sweeper keeper, a role from the Dutch Total Football philosophy.

When it comes to pure shot stopping, both keepers have saved over 75% of the shots taken against them through out their La Liga careers. With close to 750 matches between them, it proves a level of consistency and longevity beyond their years. Casillas has saved a staggering 80%-plus in 3 of his seasons including his breakthrough year in 1999/2000, however the last of which had been in 2007/8. VV, on the other hand, has achieved an 80%-plus save ratio twice, but once as recently as last season. Valdes has only averaged more than a goal a game against a season once in his career and that was in his debut season. Casillas, on the other hand, has averaged less than a goal a game against a season only 5 times during his 12 full seasons. A staggering difference, but arguably inconclusive, as Casillas has been “blessed” with less than adept defences over the years. If anything, though, it brought out the best in him, as he was peppered with shots against. Last season, Iker had the least amount of shots against him over his career. Between the two of them, they’ve had close to 300 clean sheets with VV edging it despite having played significantly less matches.

Since 2009/10, VV has gone on from strength to strength, just as his club has, and has a save ratio of at least 77%, winning two Zamoras (with the current season on-going, although VV currently leads again), Casillas has seen his save ratio drop year by year, currently standing at 70% this season. One last interesting fact is that Valdes has never had more than 147 shots against him in a league campaign, whilst Casillas has had at least 159 shots against him in 8 of his 12 campaigns and has definitely been the busier of the two during his career. On the flip side, as most goalkeepers will tell you, remaining switched on and being focused when you have less to do is sometimes more difficult than being busy for 90 minutes when you are not allowed to switch off for a second.

Comparison of Casillas and Valdes goalkeeping stats in 2009/10 League Season

Comparison of Casillas and Valdes goalkeeping stats in 2010/11 League Season

Comparison of Casillas and Valdes goalkeeping stats in 2010/11 League Season

Comparison of Casillas and Valdes goalkeeping stats in Current League Season

Passing/Footwork

“You give the ball to me”. That’s simply what Victor Valdes is suggested to say in the infamous Youtube video circulated all over the Internet last year. He is considered by some to be among the best if not the best keeper in the world when it comes to passing a football. Barcelona would probably not look much weaker if VV turned up somewhere in the outfield for them. That is why his momentary lapse at the Santiago Bernabéu inside the first minute of the game when he gave the ball away to be punished by Karim Benzema to the fullest extent was such a surprise. His composure and confidence to keep on attempting to play the short pass subsequently was praiseworthy. VV has had the most successful passes by a goalkeeper in Spain in recent seasons (823 and 617 complete passes in the last two seasons). After 21 games during the current campaign he’s had 447 successful passes and is on route to potentially breaking his own pass record. What is more telling is that his success ratio is something a central midfielder would be proud of. He has averaged 82.3%, 86.4% and 86.5% respectively during the last two full seasons as well as the on-going campaign. He has not hit more than 23 long passes in a single season during any of that time either. That is an extraordinary feat. Just to put it in context, 257 out of the 368 passes Joe Hart has made this season have been long passes.

Iker Casillas, has hit 580, 474 and 318 successful passes over the past two and a half campaigns. His pass success ratio stands at 68.1%, 75% and 76.4% over that period. It is clear that his passing has “improved” under Jose Mourinho. However, it may be more explanatory that under Mourinho, Real Madrid tend to pass the ball out of the back far more than previously when long goal kicks and long passes from deep were far more profound. In 2009/10 when VV attempted 23 long passes, Casillas had attempted 102, but had better success at it with 24 reaching its destination as opposed to only 3 by VV. In fact, VV has not had more than 3 successful long passes during any of the past two and a half seasons. This season, Casillas has had 49 long passes attempted with 12 reaching their target. In terms of long goal kicks, VV only attempts less than half the amount of times Casillas decides to go long, with only 85 attempts from 2010/11 onwards to Iker’s 224, again indicative of the style each prefers.

Domination of Penalty Area and Beyond

As an extension of their shot-stopping skills, both keepers possess a great domination of their penalty areas especially off set plays. Casillas has not conceded a goal off a corner kick from 2010/11 onwards. Valdes has conceded a solitary goal during each of the last campaign and the current one. When it comes to shots from 6 yards out both save more than they let in. Casillas has improved his goalkeeping from long range shots too, having now only conceded 2 off 30 shots this season, as opposed to a combined 8 goals from 76 shots during the past two league seasons. VV has conceded 7 goals from 94 long range shots since 2009/10, thus providing slightly more secure hands behind the gloves from distance.

Both keepers are on their toes constantly and there is little to choose from when it comes to clearing the ball from danger, usually getting there before the attacker. In 2010/11, Iker cleared the ball 115 times to VV’s 100 times, whilst this season, VV has done so 72 times to Iker’s 67.

Blanking the Opposition

Ask any keeper and they will tell you that the most important thing for them is the clean sheet, whether they have any work to do or not. Championships are won based on good defences. When it comes to keeping a clean sheet, Victor Valdes is in a league of his own in La Liga. With a career total of 150 clean sheets in only 316 games, he has 10 more clean sheets than Casillas, having played 125 less matches. He’s had at least 15 clean sheets in a full league campaign in 6 of the 8 seasons which he has started. Casillas has only done so 3 times out of the 12 full league campaigns he’s been a part of.

The Holy Grail AKA Champions League

Europe’s elite competition is probably revered as highly as the World Cup and European Championships when it comes to quality of football on offer. It has taken football to the next level. Players who dominate their respective league competitions may fall short on Europe’s Tuesday and Wednesday nights and thus create question marks over whether they actually are as good as they had been billed previously. Today, its difficult to label someone as “world class” unless they’ve shown their qualities in the Champions League.

Casillas & Valdes Overall Champions League Records

Once again, Victor Valdes has a better ratio when it comes to goals conceded per game, just as he has had in La Liga. Interestingly, he has also won more Champions League medals than his counterpart too. He also has more clean sheets despite playing less matches and has a better career save ratio too.

The Bottom Line

As illustrated above, Iker Casillas and Victor Valdes have the track record and caliber to back their reputations, although VV probably does not get the credit which his performances and ability deserve, especially outside Spain. He has broken numerous records at domestic level, including a record number of consecutive shut outs at home and is tied first for most Zamora trophies. He is on route to potentially breaking Andoni Zubizaretta’s record of clean sheets if he continues performing at his level. He broke his club’s record for the longest amount of minutes without conceding a goal when he went 896 minutes without conceding earlier this season.

Casillas’ individual and collective honors are impressive enough even if he retires today. He’s surely Real Madrid and Spain’s most successful goalkeeper in history. He’s recently become his nation’s most capped player too. Considering his larger than life reputation, it’s not surprising that he escapes criticism or open comparison with pretenders to his thrown. Victor Valdes may surpass Casillas in many departments, with performances and statistics over the years certainly backing that argument, but he is unfortunate that his counterpart has such an established persona and reputation in world football.

With thanks to the good people at Opta Spain for their unconditional help in providing in-depth statistics that were used in compiling this article. A special thanks also for Aaron Nielsen for his help in providing statistics tracking back into the 1990’s. You can follow him on twitter @enbsports

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  1. Andres Vargas
    February 8, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Without taking anything away from Valdes (who is a great keeper). Barca is arguably the best team of the world with an almost flawless gameplay (until now). The fact that Valdes has the lowest goals to games ratio is not only because of his ability but also because the oponents never got the ball to shot at him or at least not many times or with comfort.

    He is indeed a great keeper but he is not Casillas.

    • February 8, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      We are talking about only 20-30 shots against less for VV a season. With his save ratio, not many of those would go in anyway. Barcelona has been really dominant under Pep, but even looking at VV’s early years his stats speak volumes.

  2. Kaz
    February 9, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Great stuff mate. Do you have Valdes’ passing stats pre Pep?

    • February 9, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      Unfortunately, I’ve worked largely with detailed stats over Pep period, with an overview of past. I’d assume that he had slightly less of the ball at his feet, but only slightly, based on what I can remember. Don’t forget that THIS Barcelona really started under Rijkaard as he’d set the structure/foundations for Pep to take forward. It only faded during his last 12 months in charge though.

  3. Aditya Menon
    February 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I am a Madrid fan and I agree that valdes deserves due credit … He has been underrated and been judged more for his mistakes than his saves and gameplay
    But that being said I still dont think he is as good as casillas (IMO) cause casillas has had some very bad defenses in front of him and I dont really go too much into numbers cause some of the saves tat iker has pulled off have been phenomenal and game changing (like the 2002 CL final).. I still think valdes should be spain no.2 and I agree that if it wasnt for casillas he would be no.1 but as of now I dont see him ever replacing iker

    • February 9, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Perfectly put Aditya! Whole point was to illustrate exactly what you stated above.

    • Ryan
      February 11, 2012 at 3:52 AM

      Most people watching Barca’s defense last year would not say that they had a stable one – Puyol was injured, Abidal had liver cancer, and at one point all three left backs were out. Yet VV was solid as always and saved the team on numerous occasions. I think the truism that Madrid have the weaker defense and thus Valdes’ stats don’t count is a bad argument.

      • February 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Great point from Ryan.

      • February 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM

        Also I did some counting some months back, and VV have since 2008/2009 played with over 22 different defenders in front of him, the once I can remember now: Piqué, Puyol, Marsherano, Yaya Touré, Busquets, Bartra, Adriano, Alvés, Maxwell, Sylvinho, Caceres, Chygrinsky, Márquez, Abidal, Milito, Montoya, Victor Sánchez, Jonathan Dos Santos, Muniesa, Botía, Fontàs and Jeffren. Some of them are midfielders and some are even forwards, but they have got to act as defenders during some games. And It’s not a goalkeepers dream to have a new defense line for every game, and V.V have over the last few years had to deal with that.. people easy forget it!

      • February 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM

        Excellent observation Alexandra

  4. Russ
    February 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    The most important thing is Spain firmly makes sure Valdes is number two and Reina or whoever is number 3. Because up until recently Pepe Reina still seemd to be considered number. And this is from a LFC fan.

    • February 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      I had been debating with another Liverpool fan below (Kaz) who seems to disagree with you. Why is it you say what you do Russ (not that I disagree)?

  5. Joseph77
    February 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I always thought Pepe Reina was a better goal keeper than VV… I wonder how his stats compare.

  6. kaleem
    February 10, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    I would like however for u to get some stats on un forced errors …that is goals that were conceeded due to a goal keeping error …i thoroughly believe that whilst vv May have better stats than casillas …he is prone to big game errors..remember against Madrid…arsenal…and personally i don’t want to depend on that for big games

    • February 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      I believe you mean un-forced errors? I dont think Valdes makes as many as some of his detractors would like you to think. Against RM, you really have to put it in the context. He made that mistake in the 1st minute, then look at how he recovered and the role he played for the other 90 minutes especially in the first 20 minutes of the game.

      • kaleem
        February 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM

        Yes but my point is that he is able to get away with that because he has such a great defense and team…so no one can point fingers to say vv costed us the match..if vv was playing for another team who’s defense and offense was much worse..his errors would be highlighted even more and really….in big games and tournaments u need the best…not the best when there is a great team around u…

      • February 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Would like to hear the thoughts of Barcelona fans on VV and Real Madrid fans on Iker.

  7. Ante Bosnjak
    February 11, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    I have been a FCB fan from since I can remember. Over the years I have seen VV grow into to be a tremendous GK and has been a vital piece in the success of the team. It may be true that he was known for his errors during his early years however this has reduced significantly in the last 3-4 years, it may also be worth noting that Casillas has been prone to regular errors himself over the last few seasons. I personally believe that VV is the best one on one shot stopper in the game atm. FCB are most susceptible to concede in defense through quick counters and VV has produced numerous one on one saves. However it goes without saying that Casillas has a unique aura around him and with him comes a belief within a team to succeed. A true leader n legend of the game and for this reason along with his outstanding ability it must be said he is number 1 in Spain

  8. Stacey. K
    February 11, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Those who claim that VV stats are impressive because Barca have so much of the ball fail to realise that even beyond xavi, VV is the man that makes this possible. How many times has xavi been put under pressure only to seek refuge in VV by playing the ball to his feet trusting in his technique, composure and above all his decision making to change the direction of the attack.

    I believe that if cassilas hoofed the ball less, Madrids possession would rise at least 5-10% which ultimately leave less shots for him to save.

    • February 11, 2012 at 3:04 AM

      Ante, I believe I’ve highlighted your point that Barcelona face clear cut chances due to the nature of their game.

      Stacey, Casillas’ passing stats have improved under Jose Mourinho, which is a sign towards exactly what you’ve said.

  9. February 11, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    One quibble: “Casillas has not conceded a goal off a corner kick from 2010/11 onwards” Are we not looking at Copa del Rey in this comparison?

    All that said, I think Casillas is a (slightly) better keeper in general but that Valdez is the best possible keeper for this Barça. In other words, if you put Valdez in Madrid and Casillas in Barça, I think both teams get a little worse.

    In terms of international play, I think it’s mostly a wash skillwise and so it comes down to the other things. Specifically leadership and penalty kick stopping ability. I’ve never seen Valdez in a PK shootout but I completely trust Casillas there.

    • February 11, 2012 at 3:18 AM

      No stats take into account league form. The CL is also discussed separately.

      I agree with you that both suit their sides perfectly. Although with Spain looking to mimic Barcelona, its arguable whether VV would suit the national side better, but we can’t question Iker’s big-game saves.

      • February 11, 2012 at 3:29 AM

        The header Puyol buried in the first leg of the Copa del Rey Clasicos this year is still fresh in my memory

      • February 11, 2012 at 3:30 AM

        Yes. But not in La Liga. Its an impressive record.

  10. Stacey. K
    February 11, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Indeed and I acknowlege his improving passing.
    I made that comment because there are people who believe that if cassilas played for Barca then he would surpass Vv stats as Barca always have the ball.

    Barcas game just wouldnt suit a traditional GK like cassilas IMO and despite his obvious class a square peg will never fit into a round hole.
    Barca require a ball playing Sweeper and there is none better in the game than Vv.

    • February 11, 2012 at 3:26 AM

      Yes, Valdes is an 11th outfield player for them. He passes the ball more than most sides outfield players during a match.

    • February 11, 2012 at 3:42 AM

      Do follow on Twitter as well

  11. February 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    When everything is lost , Casillas comes to the rescue . He has this inherent ability to deliver in the biggest of matches

    • February 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      As stated in the piece, Casillas is a big game player. That has never been in question.

  12. Barca_4ever
    February 23, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Oh for those who talk that Casillas will become better at Barca, please check out the mistake he made against zaragoza (last season i think) or Costa Rica. He clearly proves that he is not a sweeper keeper like VV and is bad at having the ball at his feet.

    Also, as mentioned before, Casillas has had his share of mistakes but people do not look at it much because it is Casillas.

    As a Barca fan, if i can sum up the difference in 1 line:
    If there’s a 1 on 1 or a penalty against VV or Casillas, people generally expect Casillas to save it whereas for VV, people just dont trust him. That is sadly where it all boils down to.

    • February 23, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      I think the “trust” which you mentioned is also a factor in why Iker is considered better than VV.

  13. Skillz
    February 25, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    We all know that VV has improved over the years and this began when Pep became in-charge because all your arguments are from only three seasons ago,why not from 2002?.But the whole world, Valdes and even you who wrote this article knows dat Iker is a much more better goalie than VV.Barcelona’s defence is not dat great but can the opposite team collect the ball from the midfielders? The answer is definately no.This goes out to you who was talking about Puyol being injured and Abidal going for surgery..I believe u knw d saying dat d best form of defence is attack…so am telling u again dat its not about their defence but due to their possession on the ball.Now coming to passing skills, i believe dat d passing skills of a keeper should be determined by the influence it made on team at dat instant,for example,Reina has given a long pass to his striker from the goal post and it was converted into a goal,so has Paul Robinson…my point being dat in terms of goal keeping, only long passes should be credit for and not minor passes made at the back and i knw dat Casillas is more better at dat….talking about penalty saving, IKER has more saves…looking at the saves from the 2010 world cup,is it the oscar cardozo’s penalty dat he caught or that of Robben’s two clear one on ones in the finals….I can go on and on but imma stop here….Now my point is: IKER CASILLAS is a legend and should never be compared with VV because no matter how many ballon d’or messi wins, he can never be compared to the likes of ZIDANE , DE LIMA RONALDO or even JOHAN CRUYFF

  14. mubarakh muhd
    March 3, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Am really amused that you brought this topic,I too wondered wat scenario is used wen it comes to selectn a keeper for national side.,surely it cnt b by preformance as dz article clearly sayz odawise.VV is nt only d bst keeper now bt d greatest dat ever d country has produced.nowadayz brilliance is nt the only thing dat excel in football;politics has to b considered.I jst hope for the sake of soccer loving fans the situation is resolved b4 it destroyd all dat we plan n hope football. Am one of ur bst fans here.kp it up

    • March 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Thank you Mubarakh. I wont agree about Valdes being the greatest keeper Spain has produced as I believe Casillas is ahead of him, but I will say that in recent seasons Valdes has probably performed at a slightly higher level, but has not received his dues at national level due to Iker’s status.

  15. April 7, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    VV is Number One,He has 4 trophies Zamora vs Casillas only one.

  16. April 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    den dexaite goal o valdes epeidei i barcelona diladi i omada t. epeidei ta perisotera lepta i mpala einai sta podia tous an paratirisetai kathe fora pou i barcelona dexetai mia kali epithesi trwei poly eukola goal eidika sto psilo paixnidi ayto fanike k me ton panathinaiko apo ena bole tou tzorva ena takounaki tou cisse k o govou ebale to kerasaki stin tourta tou valdes

  17. April 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    If Valdes played for the Spanish National Team before Casillas and they both performed as they are doing in this moment in time then I absolutely guarantee that you would all say Valdes is the best; Barca fan or not. If they gave VV a chance to perform at international level with Spain then they would pick him over Iker. Imagine the potential that Valdes has with trying out the national side, that would most definitely silence the Iker fanboys

  18. Burm Kim
    May 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Huuuummmmmmm, how many times has VV played for the national team? If he is this good, why hasnt he gotten the chance? Im sure the real experts know these numbers already…

    • May 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      I think the reasons “why” have been explained in the article already and have formed the basis of it. With that said VV experienced his worst form in years in the aftermath of this article and I take full responsibility! 🙂

  19. May 17, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    top article babak. not looking at his latest form you have shown valdes to be a worthy competitor for the number one jersey…now in the aftermath of barca’s slight fall from grace do you still consider him in the same position over younger players such as de gea? any stats update on his latest form? and why you believe it to be his worst in years? I don’t know the stats as only follow la liga lightly you see. from a newcastle united fan (apathetic on the whole situation!)

    • May 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Form over a few games does not change the overall picture. The conclusion of the article showed that Iker is a big-game player, and pulls off match-winning saves.

      VV had a patchy run directly after I posted this article and I feel that I may have jinxed him. I’d still say he’s unlucky that he’s had Spain’s greatest ever keeper, most successful captain as well as an immensely popular public figure ahead of him.

      Nevertheless, right now Iker is the undisputed number one.

      De Gea will take that spot in the future.

      • March 27, 2013 at 6:21 AM

        I wouldn’t blame valdes for the goals he conceded against chelsea in 2012, it was defensive error which led to counter attack, valdes doesn’t deserve the blame for it. Also those people forget that he was the main man in 2009 semifinal chelsea where he saved one on one saves on drogba when barca were playing badly, and the 06 final against arsenal similar case. He doesn’t not always flop in big games. His error against madrid was down to overconfidence and I’ve see casillas make such error in many games before.

  20. Francisco
    June 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    This is a good article and while I am a Real Madrid fan there is without a question that Valdes has better overall stats than Casillas. I would like to know though if it is possible to go further and add a new stat, Quality Shots. Which keeper is keeping out PKs, FKS, break aways and corner shots. Both keepers can deal with those shoot and pray the go in shots. I believe that those stats would be in favor of the better and top notch goalkeeper.

  21. nadeem
    August 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    You can make stats sing any tune you want, but there is no doubt that in the big matches VV makes some embarrassing errors. In the clasico’s last season- if you youtube all goals conceded, some were blatant errors from VV and others a better keeper would have stopped. You could say the same for the CL games vs AC Milan last year, and both legs of the Chelsea Semifinal. He is unsure in 1 to 1 situations, gambles when it comes to corners, and makes embarrassing gaffes that I have never seen from Casillas. Anyone that says VV is better than Casillas should have their eyes checked. And I am a diehard cule… Actually Victor Valdes is so bad, he should change his name to Loser Valdes… 🙂

    • March 27, 2013 at 6:21 AM

      I wouldn’t blame valdes for the goals he conceded against chelsea in 2012, it was defensive error which led to counter attack, valdes doesn’t deserve the blame for it. Also those people forget that he was the main man in 2009 semifinal chelsea where he saved one on one saves on drogba when barca were playing badly, and the 06 final against arsenal similar case. He doesn’t not always flop in big games. His error against madrid was down to overconfidence and I’ve see casillas make such error in many games before.

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