Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Puyol, we love your labour

David Clarke

Carles Puyol is the type of player every team would like. He is the classic old-fashioned captain. Quick and powerful, committed almost to the point of comedy, he is an inspiration to team-mates and an idol for the fans.

His intense commitment to Barcelona runs deep – he often stays behind to train and reportedly comes in on his days off to put in some extra work.

He makes a good roll model for youth players because he has made himself great even though he does not have the reputation of some of his team mates. Puyol has played for Barcelona since 1999 and been club captain since 2004. In his early years as captain before Iniesta, Messi and Xavi came on the scene he said of his team mates: “I don’t have Romário’s technique, [Marc] Overmars’ pace or [Patrick] Kluivert’s strength. But I work harder than the others. I’m like the student who is not as clever, but revises for his exams and does OK in the end.”

“Puyol is the key,” says Xavi, the Barcelona midfielder, “not just because he is one of the best defenders in the world but because of his character. He never lets up. If he sees you relax at all, he’s suddenly at your side demanding more.”

He has starred in more than 500 official games for the team, winning 18 major titles, notably five La Liga and three UEFA Champions League championships. At international level he has won the Euro 2008and the 2010 World Cup tournaments with Spain.

Team mate at Barcelona Gerard Piqu&eacute said: “He’s someone who, even if you’re winning 3–0 and there’s a few seconds left in the game will shout at the top of his voice at you if he thinks your concentration is going.”

More recently said, “Even four goals down he thinks we can still win.”

“The fans appreciate that I work my hardest all the time,” Puyol explains. “I need no encouragement because I’ve always been a cule – I’ve never hidden that fact. I am living the dream playing football for Barça and it is my dream to retire playing here. I know someday that I will have to leave and I am not looking forward to that day. I will work hard to realise my dream but if I can’t then I would like to play in another country. I wouldn’t want to play in Spain. I would go to England or Italy.”


3 Comments so far
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rumour has it he cut his hair once and in the next 3 months, suffered a complete loss of form and confidence until it grew back. Puyol demonstrates everything you’d want in a centre-back. Pace, power, bravery, teamwork. His mental approach is first class and expects the same from every one of his team mates. His theatrics are a little desperate at times, similar to Lucio. A friend of mine summed up his attitude quite well after seeing another totally committed tackle – “Puyol says NO!”

Comment by Martin Upson

Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué have turned out to be the perfect partnership – good together and good for each other, that of the 61 league games they have played together they have lost only one. And that was more than two years ago. Puyol is Barcelona’s very own Captain , Smoothness personified, relaxed, playing with his heart on his sleeve and his hair in his eyes, screeching into challenges, never, ever letting up.

Comment by Real Estate in Spain

He is a leader and his greatest attribute is his pace. Teams that win leagues, cups, shields – you name it need players of his calibre. He pulls the strings, organizing team shape and having his team mates on their toes. However, on the ball he is not the best around when it comes to building play from the back. I strongly believe that his team mates cover up this side of his game with their technical abilities and generally the total team structure and mentality of how football is played. He is so special to them as his team mates say because he gives them that extra passion and drive that they may lack. True leader and definitely top of the list of many managers if they could have him.

Comment by michael

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