Puyol to leave Barca in summer

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has announced he will be leaving the Spanish champions at the end of the season.

Last Updated: 04/03/14 at 21:06 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Mario Balotelli will remain at Liverpool, says Mino Raiola

3 comments

Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has revealed that the striker will not be leaving Anfield this summer.

Graham Dorrans signs for Norwich City from West Brom

Post comment

Graham Dorrans has signed a two-year deal with Norwich City following a successful loan spell with the club.

All Articles

Carles Puyol: Leaving Barcelona after al

Carles Puyol: Leaving Barcelona after al

Carles Puyol has been hailed as a legend, a one-off and an example to future generation as tributes poured in for the long-serving Barcelona captain following the news he is to leave the Catalan giants.

After weeks of speculation about his future, Puyol announced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that he would be bringing the curtain down on his title-littered, 19-year career at the Nou Camp at the end of this season.

The 35-year-old Spain international had a contract with Barca until 2016 but has reached an agreement with the club to rescind the final two years of the deal.

Puyol, who has struggled with injuries in recent years and has managed only 12 appearances in all competitions this season, said: "After two very serious operations, I'm finding it very hard to get back to the level I need to be at to stay here - much more than I thought and much more than the surgeons told me. That's why I have made this decision.

"I'm not going today. There are three months of the season left and anyone that knows me will know that I won't give up and I'll keep fighting to the end to try to improve and help the team to achieve its objectives this season."

Puyol has made 593 appearances for Barca since making his first-team debut in 1999 - second only to current team-mate Xavi in the club's history - and helped the club win 21 trophies.

Among them are six La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns, two Spanish Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.

The veteran central-back was also a pillar of the Spanish national side, making 100 appearances for La Roja between 2000 and 2013.

Puyol was a member of Spain's triumphant teams at Euro 2008 and the World Cup two years later, although he missed the side's successful title defence at Euro 2012 with a knee injury.

As to what he plans to do after leaving the Nou Camp, Puyol admits he is not sure yet - save to take a break.

"I don't know what I'll do after June 30, but what I am sure of is that when the season ends I'm going to need to get some rest. I haven't stopped for four years because of injuries. After that, we'll see what happens," he said.

"I would like to have a press conference at the end of the season to say a proper goodbye after a total of 19 years at the club."

Puyol's announcement led to a flood of tributes and appreciations from the world of football.

Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes, whose time at the Nou Camp is also drawing to an end, wrote on Twitter: "There will never be another like him. Great captain! Great@Carles5puyol!"

Their club and international colleague Andres Iniesta added: "I will continue to enjoy playing by your side for the rest of the season, an honour. Afterwards, the best for you! No-one like you capi!"

Marc Bartra, who could be the long-term replacement for Puyol at the heart of the Barca defence, tweeted: "Thanks for all that you've done for me. For your help and your advice. Three more months learning by your side!"

Barca board member Pilar Guinovart, meanwhile, said that Puyol was "an example to follow for future generations".

Many more of Puyol's team-mates also added their praise, as did some of his former colleagues, such as Celta Vigo's Andreu Fontas, who said of his fellow defender: "You are the greatest: Idol, example, eternal, reference, legend, captain, friend. Thank you Puyi."

Abelardo, who played for Barca between 1994 and 2002, said in El Mundo Deportivo: "Puyol has been for several years the best defender in the world.

"He will be remember as one of the best in history and for me will be remembered as the most important defender in Barca's history."

Former Italy stars Franco Baresi and Demetrio Albertini also added their acknowledgements with the latter believing Puyol will have no shortage of offers in the summer.

Albertini told Efe: "Puyol is a great friend and has a place in any team. If he goes, it will be to succeed elsewhere."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

FA chairman Greg Dyke says Sepp Blatter "has to go".

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke insists that "Sepp Blatter has to go as FIFA president".

Jack Warner has been arrested and bailed in Trinidad

Jack Warner has been arrested and will be released on bail in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the FIFA investigation.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter welcomes US investigations

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has issued a statement welcoming investigations by US and Swiss authorities

Mail Box

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

Europa League: Hardly The AIA Cup

A Spurs fan definitely isn't bothered his side aren't in the Europa League final tonight. Also, a warning about Michael Laudrup, and how to build a team with less than £20m.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company