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Grande: Very hard for Puyol

Carlos Puyol's hopes of featuring in a fourth World Cup hang in the balance following a lack of appearances at Barcelona, according to Vicente del Bosque's assistant Jose Antonio Grande.

Last Updated: 21/02/14 at 16:11 Post Comment

Carlos Puyol: Faces an uphill battle to make his fourth World Cup

Carlos Puyol: Faces an uphill battle to make his fourth World Cup

An injury-plagued season has meant the Spanish centre-back has made just four La Liga appearances for the defending champions.

Puyol, who could soon earn a 400th cap for the Catalan side, has featured in just one Champions League game this term as back injuries continue to restrict his availability.

The centre-back started in Barcelona's 6-0 league victory over Rayo Vallecano, but asked to be withdrawn at the midway point, raising further speculation over his future.

Grande refused to give a definitive answer on Puyol's international career but was clear in stating the defender needed more game-time under his belt.

"He hasn't been completely ruled out as there are three months left until the World Cup, but it's very hard for him," Globo Esporte quoted Grande as saying on the radio show La Xarxa.

"Puyol needs to play more often and be more present in Barcelona's important games."

Grande paid testament to the 100-cap international and claims he brought more to the team than simply on-field performances.

"He has always been a very important player for us, not only on the pitch but also in the meetings before the games," he added.

"He has experience, style, courage, attitude and enthusiasm."

While Puyol may be struggled to make the plane to Brazil, Bosque's aide revealed that Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara is well on his way to secure a ticket.

"Thiago is the most experienced one, he plays often at Bayern and is consistent in his games," he said.

"He is the one with the best chance of going to the World Cup, out of all the players we are monitoring."

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put Ince in my fantasy football team, so it's no surprise at all really. I do that to players. Also responsible for De Jong and Upson being injured. Think I'll transfer in Di Maria just to ruin United....

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ovren? £20m always seemed a touch on the expensive side, but I wasn't expecting him to be quite such a waste of money

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