Madrid - Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes confirmed on Friday that he will leave the club once his current contract expires in the summer of 2014, explaining that the mental exhaustion caused by the "responsibility and pressure" of his position was behind his reason to eventually move on.
"Being the goalkeeper at the club is a big weight to carry and I have felt it since I was very young," Valdes said in a press conference at the Camp Nou on Friday morning.
"It is a position that carries with it a lot of responsibility, there is a lot of pressure on you, and the demands I put on myself to make sure Barca win is a heavy weight to carry too."
The 31-year-old Valdes, who has been in the Barcelona first team for 12 years and who made his 500th appearance for the Azulgrana earlier this month, insisted that his decision to move on is "irrevocable".
It was widely speculated that Valdes would leave at the end of this
season after he turned down after he rejected a new offer from Barcelona
"I consider that my cycle as a Barcelona player will come to an end when my current contract expires in 2014," said Valdes, who nevertheless gave no details regarding possible interest in him from elsewhere.
"I understand that with 18 months' warning there should be sufficient time to find the best solution for the club and for the player, so that Barca keep on winning and so do I," he explained.
"In January, I said I could see myself playing in other leagues, getting to know something different and looking for different sources of motivation."
The Spanish international, in Spain's squad for the Confederations Cup, had been linked with a move to big-spending Monaco this summer.
Liverpool's Pepe Reina - formerly of Barcelona - has been linked with a return to the Camp Nou to replace Valdes, while Manchester United's David de Gea and Valencia'a Vicente Guaita are also said to be on their list of possible targets.