Carles Puyol has named the toughest XI he ever faced, and it is an impressive team indeed

The Barcelona legend had a hugely successful career, making 593 appearances for the Barcelona senior team and winning 21 major club trophies in that time.

Puyol also had the distinction of being a one-club man, having risen through the ranks of Barcelona’s youth team before going on to captain the side to glory on several occasions.

He will go down as one of Barcelona’s greatest ever defenders, and the defensive combination he chose in his XI is pretty insane, according to 101greatgoals.

Starting with Gianluigi Buffon in goal, Puyol picked a back-line of Javier Zanetti, Alessandro Nesta, Paulo Maldini – another one-club man – and Roberto Carlos.

The midfield is equally impressive, with Clarence Seedorf, Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo.

Up front is where the biggest surprises lay. Puyol picked Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben as the forwards that he found the toughest to face.

Puyol never faced Aguero after the Argentinian joined Manchester City, but Aguero used to terrorise defenses everywhere with Atletico Madrid before his time with City, and Puyol clearly thinks he is deserving of a spot.

And while Didier Drogba has been a part of some of the most controversial games between Chelsea and Barca, Puyol clearly respected him immensely as a player, naming him the toughest striker he ever faced.

To be clear, there were two stipulations to this team :

  1. They are all opponents Puyol has faced at some point in his career
  2. Puyol could never have played on the same team as a player in his toughest XI at any point

Puyol’s XI: Buffon, Zanetti, Nesta, Maldini, Roberto Carlos, Seedorf, Pirlo, Zidane, Robben, Drogba, Aguero


Quite a team from the Barcelona legend.

One thing that really stands out here is the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has been omitted from the list. Puyol played against Ronaldo both while he was at Manchester United and Real Madrid, and it is surprising he has not included a player that many consider one of the best to have ever played the game on this list.

Still, it is Puyol’s opinion of who he had the toughest time playing, and maybe he just didn’t find Ronaldo as difficult to play against as the rest.

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