TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
Soccer

Defender Puyol to leave Barcelona at end of season

{eot}
The Canadian Press
3/4/2014 10:26:41 AM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

BARCELONA, Spain -- Barcelona defender Carles Puyol has decided to leave the club at the end of the season, preferring to take some time off after several injury-filled seasons and putting his football future in doubt.

The 35-year-old Puyol has spent his entire career with Barcelona, debuting in 1999. But he has made only 12 appearances this season after returning from a long-term knee injury in October.

Puyol has been an essential figure in Barcelona's and Spain's recent achievements, including helping Spain win the 2010 World Cup and leading Barcelona to three Champions League titles.

Puyol said Barcelona has agreed to rescind his contract at the end of the season despite two years remaining on his deal.

"The recovery from my knee injury was more difficult than expected. I cannot perform anymore at the level I'd want," Puyol said Tuesday. "When the season ends I need to rest and then we will see. I've got three months left and I'm going to give my all for Barca, but I don't know what I'll do at the end of the season."

Puyol did not take questions Tuesday as teammates Gerard Pique, Cristian Tello and Jose Manuel Pinto, and former teammate Ivan de la Pena watched.

Puyol is a homegrown success story for the Catalan club, coming through the La Masia youth program like teammates Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.

He was nicknamed "Tarzan" for his scraggly locks which shielded his face and intimidated opponents despite his small stature. His energetic and physical style of play fit perfectly with his leadership qualities, earning him the captain's armband at Barcelona until recent injury spells.

Puyol, who was raised in the Catalan town of Pobla de Segur, trails only Xavi in appearances made for the club. He scored his first goal of the season in Sunday's 4-1 win over Almeria.

Puyol won his first trophy with the club in the 2004-05 season -- the first of six league titles. He also won the Club World Cup, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup and European Super Cup to go along with Champions League titles in 2006, '09, and '11.

At the World Cup in South Africa, Puyol headed in the winning goal in the 1-0 semifinal victory over Germany.

"He's a reference for every player and a leader on the field of play," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said.

Carles Puyol (Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Premier League Shows on TSN.ca

TSN.ca is Canada's exclusive home to highlight and feature programs from the Barclay's Premier League. Check out the latest programs on VOD below.


Net Busters

BPL Match Pack

Podcasts

TSN 1050: Game Night: Gareth Wheeler - July 30

Gareth Wheeler joined Jim Tatti & Andy McNamara on Game Night to recap Toronto FC's 3-0 loss to DC United and more news on TFC.

TSN 690: Montreal Impact Jopey Saputo Presser July 30th

Joey Saputo press conference annoucing Nick DeSantis is relieved of his duties as Sporting Director

TSN 690 oranges @ halftime July 29: Pat Leduc

Impact season of woes as the club get set for a major announcement from Joey Saputo tomorrow morning


More Podcasts

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television