One of the best defenders to play this beautiful sport and definitely one of the best Spanish central defenders of all time. Carles Puyol is the seventh player in the history of the Spanish national team with the most matches played, making a total of 100 appearances.
During his childhood, he began playing football in the club of his hometown, La Pobla de Segur, as a goalkeeper. A back problem forced him to change his position and he became a striker. His parents were doubtful about him becoming a footballer and encouraged him to study. During the 1993-1994 season, he played in the youth team of CF Pobla before joining the club's first team the following season.
At only sixteen years old, his parents encouraged him to practice hard because the competition was very tough. His talent quickly attracted attention and he joined La Masia, the training academy of FC Barcelona, at the age of 17 in 1995.
With the number 32, Puyol made his debut with the first team of FC Barcelona, on October 2, 1999 Liga against Valladolid. Louis van Gaal introduced him to the first team at the age of 21 years and 172 days. His appearances became more and more impressive during the 1999-2000 season, when he replaced Michael Reiziger as right-back. His appearances became more and more regular until he became a key right-back for the team. The defender played 37 games that season. Due to his determination to improve and an impressive work rate, Carles Puyol was then positioned in central defence.
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For the 2000-2001 season, Puyol took the number 24, which he kept for two seasons. On 21 October 2000, at just 22 years of age, his coach asked him to individually mark Luís Figo, who returned to the Camp Nou with Real Madrid in the El Clásico. His match against Figo was impressive and Barcelona won 2-0.
For the 2002-2003 season, Carles Puyol took the number 5 which would be his for the rest of his career. On 23rd October 2002, as a sign, the defender saved a goal with his heart against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League (victory 1-0). The ball hits the Barcelona crest. Puyol was elected captain in 2004 ahead of Ronaldinho and Xavi Hernandez after a vote by FC Barcelona players and staff. In the 2004-2005 season, the defender won the Spanish La Liga for the first time. He was then a key member of Frank Rijkaard's team. In January 2013, his contract was extended until the summer of 2016. On 4 March 2014, Puyol announced that he would terminate his contract at the end of the season for medical reasons and leave the club. In July 2014, he ended his career and joined the club's board of directors.
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Puyol never went out to nightclubs.
Puyol is a Yoga person.
He is a follower of Tibetan Hinduism.
He defended an opponent who slapped him in the face.
He started his own football agency.
He was Gerard Pique’s guardian angel.
Puyol always had long hair and will never cut it!
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Records and achievements:
During his time with the club, Carles Puyol managed to play a total of 682 matches in all competitions, and he also scored 24 goals for the club. With Barca, he has managed to win many titles including La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.
At the international level with the Spanish national team, Carles Puyol has won many honors which include FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship,
Carles Puyol has also many individual honors including La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year, ESM Team of the Year, UEFA Team of the Year, UEFA Club Best Defender, FIFA/FIFPro World XI, FIFA World Cup Dream Team, and many others.
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