Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was finally freed from his captors this January transfer window, as after being made to sit on the naughty step at Old Trafford for the last eight months or so, he was allowed to move to Belgian side Standard Liege.
However, having spent the entirety of his senior career at Barcelona before joining Manchester United, he will be used to a certain level of quality in terms of facilities, a level of quality that you don't tend to see when you face an away trip against Oud-Heverlee Leuven.
The walk from the bus to the stadium this weekend could be seen as a kind of sad narrative for the end of Valdes' career, as he decided to leave Barca for a bumper pay-day and a safe number one spot at AS Monaco, but he injured his knee and the deal was cancelled, leaving him unwanted by any club until he recovered and joined Manchester United presumably with a view to take over should De Gea leave. When that didn't happen he found himself frozen out, only allowed to leave for Belgium after being made to work in isolation on the training ground.
This is where is is now:
While he's not complaining about it, that's a far cry from La Liga and the Premier League. You have to admire his desire to simply play football.
His posts to social media after the game suggest that he is incredibly relieved to be playing again:
I'm very happy for my first win today with Standard! And so happy for playing again after 8 months working alone.
The lesson for fellow professionals to take from this is that you do not want to piss Louis Van Gaal off when he has the power to totally stagnate your career.
It looked to be a low-risk move for both parties, as United would get an experienced back-up, and Valdes could prove his fitness, but soon the Spaniard was behind even Sergio Romero and Ben Amos in the pecking order, and facing a lonely few months until he could leave.
Hopefully he can enjoy the remainder of his career, re-starting with Standard Liege.