‘Valdes punishment was harsh’

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Vitor Baia has defended Victor Valdes after he picked up a four-game suspension this week.

Valdes was shown a red card after the full-time whistle for Saturday’s Clasico against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

For taking his protests too far, the goalkeeper was handed a four-match ban, which in Baia’s eyes, was harsh.

“The penalty of four games for Valdes is a very harsh punishment,” the Portuguese told reporters this week.

“It is many games for a player who has a clean sheet in terms of behavioural aspects.

“It is particularly so because it is difficult to maintain control when there is a sense of injustice as Victor felt there was at the time.”

Baia also looked ahead to Barcelona’s crunch Champions League Last 16 second leg at home to Milan. The Catalans are 2-0 down from the first leg.

“I am convinced because I know the players, the history of the club and its amazing fans, it will be an historic comeback against Milan.

“We must not think about the fact that Real Madrid are already into the quarter-finals, that would be a mistake.

“Madrid’s win this week? They were finding it very difficult to progress when it was 11 against 11, but after the red card [for Manchester United’s Luis Nani], Modric and Madrid’s input was much superior.

“Diego Lopez had a sensational game for them, he is doing extraordinary.

“In two or three games, the whole world can change in football. Before Manchester, Madrid were in all sorts of problems, now they are different for the results.

“People have to be careful to maintain balance, though, because Barca remain the best club in the world.”

Tags Baia Milan Modric Valdes