Valdes moved to United on a free transfer in 2014, acting as back-up to David de Gea, and having worked with van Gaal when he was a youngster at Barcelona.
But things turned rather sour at Old Trafford when van Gaal accused Valdes of refusing to play in a youth team game to build up his fitness, something Valdes denied at the time.
The Spaniard was told to empty his locker, forbidden from training with the first team and instructed to find a new club as van Gaal came down hard on him.
But despite the bitter fallout, Valdes is still able to show his class and look back on his time there philosophically.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Valdes – who signed for Premier League new boys Middlesbrough earlier this summer – said: “I feel like a professional footballer again after all those hard days in Manchester.
“It’s difficult to explain, but it was hard being alone. Sometimes at United I thought ‘I don’t need this’, but I am a fighter and a professional.
“This was the biggest fight of my career and I won it
“The easy way out was to end my career but now I feel like a professional goalkeeper again.
“I don’t have any bad words for Van Gaal or Manchester United. They helped me through my injury and the manager gave me my chance as a footballer at Barcelona and then again at United.
“He’s like a father figure to me. I don’t want to remember the last six months in a bad way – for me he is in the top. We are still friends and there is no problem between us.
“I want to say in a public way thank you to the U21 coach Alan Fettis – without him I may have given up football. He made me keep going and stopped me when I was thinking about bringing my career to an end.”
Now, after everything that went on, it’s pretty refreshing that Valdes can take that point of view, eh?
What do you make of his comments?
Let us know in the comments section below…
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