Vilanova defends under-fire Valdes

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has spoken out in support of Victor Valdes after the goalkeeper's error allowed Real Madrid to claim a late goal in Barca's 3-2 victory in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

"I'm surprised that, at this stage of his career, people can still doubt a goalkeeper like Victor, who was decisive in three of the four Champions League titles won by the club," said Vilanova on Saturday.

"For me, he's the best goalkeeper in the world and, in particular, the best for playing here at Barca."

Barcelona led 3-1 in the closing stages of Thursday's match at Camp Nou when Valdes got the ball tangled up in his feet, enabling Angel di Maria to whisk it away from him and claim a potentially important goal for the visitors.

The second leg takes place at Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernebeu on Wednesday.

Prior to that, Barcelona visit Osasuna on Sunday in their first away match of the La Liga season.

Cameroonian defensive midfielder Alex Song could make his debut for the club following his transfer from Arsenal, having been included in Vilanova's 20-man squad for the game.

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