Carles Puyol is one of the most respected players. Having charisma and high leadership makes Puyol a perfect figure on the pitch. The caliber player Ronaldo il Fenimeno also recognizes Puyol’s extraordinary personality,
“I do not know. That surprised me. The history he has with Barcelona and with Real Madrid as his rival, he is a symbol,”
“As a defender, he is very difficult to pass, keeps running, but is very loyal, very polite. And that makes it an exemplary player. “
Carles Puyol I Saforcada was born on April 13, 1978, in La Pobla de Segur, Lleida, Spain. When starting his career as a footballer, Puyol played as a goalkeeper. But after suffering a shoulder injury, he turned into an attacker.
It was only in 1995 when he joined FC Barcelona Junior at La Masia, Puyol switched his position to midfielder until plotted to become a defender. Continuing to show brilliant performances, Puyol was drawn to the first team in 1999. The 21-year-old Carles Puyol underwent his official debut in the senior team under Louis Van Gaal’s care.
However, a year before Puyol made his debut on October 2, 1999, the Barcelona team received a transfer offer from Malaga to bring Puyol. However, Puyol refused and continued to be confident that he would be able to join the main squad.
In 2003, Barcelona had a financial crisis. Puyol who was considered to have perfect quality was also offered a contract by the English club, Manchester United. However, Puyol refused. Two years later, he signed a contract extension for five seasons instead.
The 2003/04 season, Puyol received a mandate to be the captain of La Blaugrana in place of Luis Enrique. His choice was right. Although he was only 178 cm tall, Puyol was a figure who was fearless and liked to give motivation to his colleagues.
The former Puyol duet partner, Gerard Pique, even felt it himself as for how fierce this leader was on the field.
During defending El Barca, Puyol had won various prestigious awards. Among them are Spanish La Liga, Copa Del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, European Champions League, European Super Cup, until the World Cup.
Besides shining with Barca, Puyol also embraced success with the Spanish national team. It was noted that he has won the 2008 European Cup and the 2010 World Cup.
In the eyes of other players, Puyol was known to have high leadership and work ethic. He would still continue to practice even though the training session was over or even on vacation.
Although he was known as a charismatic leader, Puyol was not a snobby person. This was proven by his gesture of giving the captain’s tire to Eric Abidal after the 2010/11 Champions League final. He did it to give his colleague, who had just recovered from cancer, an honor to lift the trophy.
Moreover, Puyol is also one of the players who are almost never involved in fights. He often mediated his teammates who tried to attack the opposing players.
Puyol is also known as a player who prioritizes character maturity above all else. This character of him was seen when he stopped the excessive celebration on goals scored by Dani Alves and Thiago Alcantara in front of supporters of Rayo Vallecano in 2012.
Carles Puyol will always be remembered as one of the best captain figures in the world.