Carles Puyol is a Spanish footballer who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Born in Lledia, north of Catalonia, Carles Puyol will never leave FC Barcelona after coming through the ranks. With all his years of attendance at the club, the defender can be considered as the elder brother of the current generation of players.
Before establishing himself as a major player of the Blaugrana, Carles Puyol had to work very hard. Arrived in 1995, the future captain wll have to wait for almost four years, on October 2, 1999 to play his first game in La Liga. Playing then at right-back, “Pu Yi” has yet to prove itself. During the 2000/01 season, he will come close of being transferred by the coach at the time, Lorenzo Serra Ferrer, who does not trust him. But for the Spaniard, it was out of question to leave the club.
His perseverance will pay off. The next season, the new coach Louis van Gaal repositions him in the central defense. Puyol will not move from there, playing 35 championship matches and 14 Champions Leagues. However in terms of titles,he will have to wait for the arrival of the new president Joan Laporta. With Rijkaard on the bench, Ronaldinho in attack and, especially, Rafael Marquez at the back with him they will provide Barcelona the security they need at the back.
During 2004/05, Barça will take off and began to collect the trophies. Carles Puyol will finally win the La Liga title. He will win it a second time in 2006 and this time they will also win the Champions League as well. He will be name “Best European centre back” in 2005, 2006 and 2008, as well as receiving the “UEFA Club Best Defender” trophy in 2006 during this period. He will also win the Champions League a second time in 2009 where they beat Manchester United 2-0 in the final.
On the International scene Puyol has also enjoyed a fair deal of success. His career with the national team started in November 2000 where he played against the Netherlands. Subsequently he will play in the at the 2000 Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2004, 2006 World Cup, Euro 2008, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup. In Euro 2008 he will start in most of the games as Spain will go on and win the completion. They will concede only 2 goals during the process.
He will also be in the team that won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Indeed he will be the scorer of the only goal in the semi-final to qualify his team for the final. In the last game he will play for the whole 120 minutes to see Spain beat the Netherlands and finish as World Champion for the first time in their history.