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Roa praises Casillas and Valdes

Former Argentina international Carlos Roa has hailed shot-stoppers Iker Casillas and Victor Valdes as elite goalkeepers.

The 42-year-old is now a member of the coaching staff at River Plate in his homeland but remembers two young Spanish goalkeepers who were emerging through the ranks whilst he was plying his trade at Mallorca in the early 2000s, and has been amazed by their progress since.

“I’ve always admired Casillas and Valdes over in Spain. Even back when I was still keeping goal for Mallorca they already looked like quality goalkeepers,” Roa told Fifa.com.

“It’s no mean feat spending so many years as number ones at those clubs and winning every trophy around: they’re examples to follow.”

The 16-times capped custodian received much praise for his composure in penalty shoot-outs after saving three spot kicks against Barcelona in the 1998 Copa del Rey final and performing similarly against England in the World Cup in France later that year.

“After the final of the Copa del Rey against Barcelona, I was tagged as a penalty specialist but I wasn’t,” he said.

“I remember (then Argentina coach) Daniel Passarella came up to me at the end of the game (against England), patted me on the back and said that ‘we have to win on penalties, right?

“Thank God everything turned out okay. That game was a huge boost for my career.”

Tue 24 April, 2012
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