Middlesbrough FC news: Former goalkeeper sacked by Barcelona as Arsenal forward praises Riverside atmosphere

Former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes has been sacked by Barcelona after less than three months in charge of the club’s under-19 side.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 1:22 pm

Valdes, 37, enjoyed a trophy-laden 12 years at Barca during his playing days before spells at Manchester United and Boro later in his career.

But after returning to the Camp Nou to pursue a coaching career, it’s believed Valdes had a disagreement with former team-mate and head of Barcelona’s academy Patrick Kluivert.

Reports have suggested the pair fell out over a number of issues, particularly Valdes’ reluctance to play a 4-3-3 formation.

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Victor Valdes has been sacked by Barcelona after taking charge of the club's under-19s side.
Victor Valdes has been sacked by Barcelona after taking charge of the club's under-19s side.

A club statement read: “FC Barcelona have informed Victor Valdes on Monday that he is no longer U19A coach and no longer employed by the Club. Franc Artiga, up till now coach of the U19B and part of the youth set up at La Masia since 2010, will take over as coach of the U19A.”

Arsenal forward praises Riverside atmosphere – Meanwhile, several members of England’s Lionesses squad have commented on the sell-out crowd at the Riverside following Saturday’s game against Brazil.

A total of 29,238 supporters attended the fixture on Teesside, a record figure for a home match away from Wembley, as Phil Neville’s side suffered a 2-1 defeat.

And Arsenal forward Beth Mead, a childhood Boro fan who studied at Teesside University, says it was a special occasion.

“It was amazing,” she said. “That’s why us girls have been saying, ‘Get some games up in the north east’.

“Everyone loves the football here, it was a great crowd and a great atmosphere.

“I owe a lot to my time in Middlesbrough, on and off the field, and it holds a big place in my heart. The reception we got was amazing. It was a really enjoyable game for me - apart from losing.”

Under-23 side kick-off cup campaign – Finally, Boro’s under-23 side came from behind to earn a 1-1 with Burnley in their opening Premier League Cup game of the season on Sunday.

Ben Liddle converted from the penalty spot three minutes from time after Rumarn Burrell was fouled.

Graeme Lee's side will play two more group games in the competition, at Blackburn in November and at Crystal Palace in December.