As we’re at the international break, we have a good chance to look at our history. Therefore, we will use the next few days to talk about some of our club’s most iconic players. The first one is Carles Puyol – A legend as a player and as a person. Written by Suhas Achanta from Offthecrossbar.
Football. A beautiful game where the art of defending is a festive treat to our eyes. The emotion that flows when your Center Back slides to dispossess the opposition attack. On other times, he blocks a shot destined for the goal is immeasurable. Over the years, we have seen many incredible defenders who proved to be pillars for the team’s structure. One of them is Barcelona’s Carles Puyol.
Puyol rose quickly up the ranks and made it to the first team in 1999. The Masia graduate made 41 appearances in his first two seasons. He won the La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year in the next season. Known for his hard work and ethic, the Spaniard was impulsive yet impressive. He was exceptionally steadfast in the air and had always thrown his body on the ball.
His exceptional goal-line block against Lokomotiv is one among the best flashes of defending. Further, he went on to become Barca’s club captain, who eventually led the club to its famous sextuple. He was seen as a reliable source of positivity that every team needed. Moreover, he was the type of player who wouldn’t give up if Barca were losing 3-0. He would yell instructions to his teammates in the final moments even if they were winning 3-0.
The rival you can’t hate
Puyol letting Abidal lift the La Liga title after he beat cancer. People saw it as one of the best moments in the game’s history. He was not only a great defender but a wonderful human. He’s an exemplary leader who was matured on many fiery Clasico nights. Puyol was a player who you simply can’t hate, even if you are a Madridista.
18 Trophies with Barcelona, a world cup winner’s medal, 26 major honors as an individual. Puyol has won everything there is to offer. He started at Barcelona as a kid with high hopes. He ended his career as a role model to every aspiring defender. But not only in La Masia but the entirety of the football world.