Victor Valdes and Patrick Kluivert almost came to blows when the two men clashed last Friday in the heated row that led to the former Barcelona goalkeeper’s sacking as under-19s coach.
After a catalogue of controversial incidents since taking over in the summer, Valdes was confronted by Kluivert who is the director of Barcelona’s youth system.
According to Spanish television Cuatro Deportes, Valdes responded angrily to accusations he was mismanaging his players saying: ‘Don’t break my balls, Patrick or you’ll get it. I do what I want with my teams’ (No me toques los huevos Patrick, que te doy. Mis equipos los hago yo).
The defiant message from Valdes to Kluivert was the cue for Barcelona to tell Valdes that after barely 67 days in the job he was fired.
He said goodbye to his players and on Saturday they travelled to their match in Tarragona without him.
On Monday Valdes arrived on his black Harley-Davidson for a meeting with Sporting Director Eric Abidal and with Kluivert. His dismissal was confirmed and after a 40-minute meeting he was riding out of the club’s Joan Gamper training ground through a back exit to avoid cameras.
He leaves the U19 team in danger of slipping out of the UEFA Youth League and with a trail of complaints over his conduct.
The club were not happy about the way he preferred 4-4-2 to the club’s standard 4-3-3 formation, above all in a friendly designed to mark the opening of the stadium named in Johan Cruyff’s honour.
He left some of the most promising talents out of some of his team selections. He complained about giving press conferences standing up instead of sat down behind a table and criticised the fact that the new Johan Cruyff Stadium, used by the B-team, was not available to the U19s.
Valdes had his complaints too. He did not like the way one young star player Llaix Moriba had supposedly gone to complain to Kluivert about the fact that he was not playing.
He was also upset that club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who appointed Valdes 11 weeks ago to great fanfare, had not picked the phone up to him to listen to his grievances.
He was also unhappy that he was not allowed to switch training to the afternoons because it upset the B-team’s ability to call on players from the U19s.