Who does not know Carles Puyol, Barcelona legend and the Spanish national team has become one of the most respected players. Having the charisma and a high leadership spirit makes Puyol a perfect figure when he is on the field.
Although not actively playing, the name Puyol will always be remembered as one of the strongest defenders ever in the world. During the 18 years of his career, Puyol has produced many achievements both individually and for his club.
Puyol has even proved its quality by bringing Barcelona and the Spanish national team to win prestigious titles such as the Champions League and World Cup.
Although known as a tough central defender, not many know that Puyol started his career, not as a defender. He played as a striker, right-back and defensive midfielder before finally establishing himself in the position of central defender.
In an exclusive interview with Indonesian media in the activities of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken in Surabaya. Puyol revealed that the shift in his position was an instruction from his managers in the past.
“I just followed the instructions from the manager to play in different positions. I’m just trying to adapt it, “said Puyol
Puyol tells us that when he already has a patent position as a central defender, it does not mean he will easily play for the Barcelona first team.
Puyol said that he was displaced several times from the Barcelona first team because he could not compete with the Barcelona midfielder who often went down to the defense line of his team.
The 41-year-old man also said that he had to work extra hard to secure a place in the Barcelona first team. He claimed to learn a lot and observe from world-class defenders, one of which is the legend of AC Milan and the Italian national team, Paolo Maldini.
“I learned a lot from teammates. I also see how other players play. One of them is Paolo Maldini, I learned a lot from him. “Said Puyol.
We all know that Paolo Maldini is one of the best defenders in the world, circulating in the 90s until the early 2000s, where Puyol was still looking for his identity as a defender. Maldini and Puyol are 20 years old, it is very natural that young Puyol learned a lot from Paolo Maldini’s figure and style of play.
Paolo Maldini himself is also a player who always admired Carles Puyol. Puyol even once wrote a heartfelt letter to the former Italian defender, when announcing his resignation from football at the age of 41 in 2009 ago.
Fill in the letter as follows
“Dear Paolo … As a fellow player, I know that we will all hang our shoes, sooner or later. However, I never thought that you would experience it. You are a great and irreplaceable Maldini. Even at the age of 40, you are still the best. “(Quoted from Marca)
“I was a kid when you first entered the world of professional football. Since then, I have always admired you. Many people say that, as we grow older, we will forget our idols. That did not happen to me. My respect for you increases. ”
“Resilience, ability to read your opponent’s attacks and aggressiveness are all things that I admire from you. However, what I admire most is how you always play football with full dedication and uphold sportsmanship values, and that is what I am trying to do at Barca. ”
“You have never issued inappropriate comments. As I recall, you also never launched brutal tackles. You have proven that one doesn’t need to rely on violence to be one of the best defenders in history. ”
“Football will no longer be the same without Maldini’s presence.”
“Thank you very much for everything you have given to the world of football. Thank you for being a Paolo Maldini. ”
Paolo Maldini defended Milan during the 1985-2009 period. During that time, he had only ever been in a Rossoneri uniform. While Puyol has strengthened the Barcelona first team since 1999 and retired in 2014.
In the eyes of other players, Puyol is known to have a high leadership and work ethic. he is still practicing even though the training session is over or on holiday. During the defense of the Barcelona senior team, Puyol played in 593 matches and scored 18 goals.