Lionel Messi with his son Thiago Messi at Camp Nou before todays game against Real Sociedad
Cesc Fabregas interviewed by UEFA.
"Playing for Barça, you know you have to fight for every title – that gets into your head pretty quickly when you play here."
"I wanted to play for the best club in the world, and with lads who I had played with before, fantastic people – the club of my life."
Football’s Greatest Teams: Barcelona
This documentary shows the success of Barça from Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team up until Pep Guardiola’s resignation. Truly astonishing for anyone curious to know how far Barça has come.
Pep Guardiola: “Puyol is undoubtedly one of the best players in Barça’s history. I was lucky to work with him, first as player, then as coach”
There are times that even the men who never admit defeat have to admit defeat. On Tuesday afternoon Carles Puyol did something he had never done before: He gave up. But if that was out of character, this was also very Puyol: dignified, honest and to the point, no ceremony, but proud. He spoke for less than two minutes.
Fifteen years and over 50,000 minutes of football later, FC Barcelona’s captain announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season and take a rest. At last, he lays down his arms.
One newspaper calculated that Puyol has suffered 38 injuries in his career. He will be 36 next month. Overcoming the removal of a Baker’s cyst this summer has proved harder than he could have imagined, harder too than the surgeons anticipated.
Four seasons without a break, operation after operation, a career spent playing flat-out, always pushing, have finally taken their toll. It is not for want of trying but Puyol says he can no longer perform at the level he demands of himself. He has always set his own limits.
It would have been easy to keep on and his contract runs to 2016 but that is not his way: Puyol is a competitor. Now he believes he can no longer compete beyond the summer but until then, he will. He left the press room, with a promise to battle on until the bell tolls.
"Those who know me know that I will not let down my guard and they know that I will continue fighting to the end to try to improve and help the team win titles." They know.
Mention Puyol and some images are unavoidable. The towering header that took Spain to the 2010 World Cup final: neck tense, hair flying back then forward, like a whip, sending the ball into the net. A similar goal against Real Madrid in the 6-2 victory at the Bernabéu, Puyol celebrating by removing the captain’s armband, in Catalan red and yellow, and kissing it. And the moment that seemed to define him and how he played: In 2002 against Lokomotiv Moscow, he dived to save a shot on the goal line with his chest. With his heart, fans said.
"No one will ever symbolise as much," Andres Iniesta said.
During this time in Barcelona much has changed, but the Captain is always the same! Eternal Puyol! Thank you!
You have been and always will be the best captain in this club’s history.I will never forget everything that you’ve taught me. To fight till the end, never give up, respect other people.Even though my heart breaks I respect your choice and just want to say THANK YOU.
YOU’RE THE BEST.
~every culé right now.