FC Barcelona captain and legend Carles Puyol bid farewell to his beloved club yesterday, saying that “I’ve lived a dream of so many young kids.”
Carles Puyol pull on curtains on a glittering 15-year career that earned him a reputation as one of the greatest centre-halves the world has ever seen.
A hardcore Catalan supporter and core of Barça and Spain’s all-conquering sides, Puyol goes out with six league titles, three Champions League championships and two Spanish Cups to his name – along with a European Championship and World Cup with the national side.
Puyol addressed a farewell event held in his honour by FC Barcelona. “I would never have thought then that I would have this great career,” he said.
“I’ve lived the dream of so many young kids, doing what I most enjoy in life, playing football and training. I’ve won lots of titles but the most important thing is the human warmth and feeling I take from this club. I came here as a boy and I’m leaving with a family who I’m really proud of.”
“The one thing I have very clear is that I gave my absolute all for Barcelona and for football and I would like to be remembered as a player who did just that – who gave everything, For 19 years I have been able to do what I love. I’ve won many trophies but what will remain with me is the human side of this club.”
Puyol’s past and present team mates were present amongst the crowd who also bid farewell to their retiring legend. In his speech Puyol underlined his wish to be remembered by his fans as generous and committed footballer. He also explained the special moment of his career: Abidal lifting the Champions League Trophy. “It’s very difficult to pick a special moment – but if I had to choose one I’d say when Abidal lifted the Champions League trophy due to everything that it implied, He gave us the example of fighting, he didn’t give up and he was with the team and he could live a very special moment, a moment he deserved most than anyone.”
Emotional Puyol also gave details the situation under which he had to say good bye to Camp Nou. “We tried everything and I’d like to thank the doctors and physios for everything. We’ve not figured out a way to fix it, but I’ve not given up. I’ll keep trying to sort it out but now without the pressure of having to play.”
Puyol gave a press conference in front of his mother, brother, partner and friends.