Deportivo La Coruna boss Victor Sanchez believes Las Palmas veteran Juan Carlos Valeron should have won a Ballon d’Or earlier in his career.
Victor [pictured, second left] and Valeron [far right] were Depor teammates at the beginning of the 21st century, when the Galicians enjoyed the best spell of their history, having won La Liga in 2000 and the Copa del Rey two years later, plus regularly reaching the Champions League knockouts.
“[Valeron’s] been a player of talent and world-class stature,” the Coach said at a Press conference ahead of his side’s match against Las Palmas on Monday.
“If he played for a big and powerful team then I’m sure he would’ve won a Ballon d’Or, but it’s tougher when you play for a more modest team like Deportivo.
“He’s a player who means everything to the club, as did Manuel Pablo and other icons like Fran [Gonzalez] and Mauro [Silva], all of whom relate to Deportivo’s badge.
“He’s an example in terms of conduct and performance. I’m proud to have been Juan Carlos’ teammate.
“[On the match against Las Palmas], we have the opportunity to strike a blow which could even prove definitive in us achieving our objective [of survival] and that’s all which is in our minds.
“A win would practically leave survival in our pocket.”
The trainer also refused to give any clues on who would replace German Lux in goal after the Argentine was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.