Biography of Carles Puyol
Family. Early career of Carles Puyol
Carles Puyol Saforcada was born in the small Catalan town of La Poblep de Segur, the son of a road worker. Puyol’s father was an asphalt paver all his life. The beginning of Puyol’s career cannot be called joyful and promising – at the screening for Barcelona, the boy was accepted rather out of pity, they worked with him with great reluctance and more than once offered to move to the youth team of the modest Catalan team Lleida – they say, there are more prospects there, and to closer to home. However, Carles stubbornly rejected all such proposals, continuing to clench his teeth to train in the youthful composition of Barcelona, which was then experiencing far from such stellar times as it is now.
Carles Puyol was born in the family of an asphalt paver
For the first time, Puyol was announced for the first match of Barça in 1997. The future captain spent the entire meeting of his native team with Dynamo Kiev on the bench. In those years – now it’s hard to even imagine – the champion of Spain could not oppose anything to Valery Lobanovsky’s wards. The Ukrainian “asphalt paver” walked through the Catalans incredibly cruelly – 4:0 with a hat-trick by Andriy Shevchenko.
Nineteen-year-old Puyol watched sadly from the bench as the legendary Sheva literally “destroyed” his team. This lesson, however, benefited the Catalan – he realized that only he could handle Sheva. In the future, this happened in almost all meetings on the field of Puyol and Shevchenko. The highest praise for Puyol is still Andrei’s statement in 2006 after the Barcelona-Milan match: “Puyol is almost impossible to beat.” But this Carles still had to come.
Puyol could not be “pinned” on the field for a long time. In which positions his coaches did not try, and everywhere he seemed to play well, however, he did not show a good game either. In the end, the Catalan coach delivered a verdict: full back.
Two years passed between the first entry of Carles Puyol into the application and the first entry into the field. The then coach of the Catalans, Louis van Gal, saw Puyol exclusively as a full-back. However, powerful players played on both flanks then – Michael Reiziger on the right, and Sergi on the left. However, one fine day for Puyol, “Gas mask” Reiziger received an extra “yellow card”, and Van Gal risked releasing Carles for the next match against Valladolid. As a result, Puyol played no worse than the Dutchman.
After some time, due to an injury, Sergi Carles had a chance to try himself on the other flank. And again, the Catalan showed himself in the best light. After that, Louis van Gaal decided to give Puyol the opportunity to train with the first team. After some time, the Catalan almost completely replaced Reiziger, who made frequent mistakes, and became a favorite of the fans.
“Founder” of the Catalan club
Carles Puyol is one of those players with whom the blue garnets survived all the troubled times at the turn of the century, one of those who helped Barca to be reborn almost from the ashes. Puyol has several nicknames, the most famous of which are Tarzan and the Lionheart. Javi Hernandez says of Carles: “He is as bold as a lion and just as a lion.” However, Carles was not always so respected in the blue garnet team. In the beginning, he was kept on the team because of the name. One of the journalists started a rumor that the long-haired guy is a descendant of one of the founders of the Catalan club.
Turning to the history of the creation of blue garnet, you can really see that one of those players who stood at the origins of the creation of Barcelona in 1899 was named Carles Puyol. And despite the fact that modern Puyol has nothing to do with Puyol, the founder of the club, being only an amazing case of the coincidence of the name and surname, on the eve of the centennial anniversary of the Catalans, such a player simply could not help but become the star of the legendary club.
Career of Carles Puyol at Barcelona
Slowly, Carles Puyol got used to the main team of Barcelona. No one was talking about the fact that he was kept in the team because of the name; began to receive calls to the youth, Olympic team of Spain. But, despite all his successes, Puyol remained the lowest paid Barça player.
Carles Puyol is Barcelona’s highest paid player
Then, for six months, Carles “fell out of the cage” – due to a serious knee injury, he spent almost three months in the infirmary, and it took the same amount to recover. After recovering, a new blow awaited him – Catalan coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer again declared Carles unpromising. Puyol was put up for transfer. However, the only club that has decided to buy a young defender is Barcelona’s eternal enemy, Real Madrid. The Catalans simply could not give a football player with such a glorious name to their direct competitors, and Puyol himself said: “I would rather end my career than move to the royal club.” As a result, they did not sell Puyol and even raised his salary, however, not without a bold, bordering on impudence request from Puyol himself: “Either pay more, or forget about me.”
The last dot on the “i” was put by the head coach of the Spanish national team, Jose Antonio Camacho, who called Puyol to the basis of the national team. After that, the salary of the Catalan in Barcelona still increased significantly. And some time after the scandal with Puyol, Ferrer left the blue garnet coaching bridge, Van Gal again became the team’s coach. The Dutchman always appreciated Carles, and after returning to the post of head coach, he helped Tarzan a lot – he finally found the optimal position on the field for him. Barça had problems with the center of defense at the time. None of the players could cope with the problem area, and in one of the matches the Dutchman put Puyol in the center.
Despite his height of 178 centimeters, which is uncharacteristic for defenders, Carles showed the best results of all central defenders. The quick-footed, jumping Catalan easily won the fight for the projectile both on the field and in the air. Excellent intuition and experience of playing in various positions, even as a goalkeeper, made it possible to predict the actions of the attackers, all their tricks and secrets, and act ahead of the curve. It was in the center of defense that Carles was able to reveal himself most fully and show his true football talent.
Carles Puyol is great on defense.
The Achilles’ heel of the blue garnet – protection – became noticeably stronger under Puyola. It is no coincidence that with Puyol in defense, Barça became the team that conceded almost the least in the Spanish Example. Puyol is traditionally a defensive player who rarely crosses his half of the field. On account of the Catalan only four goals in his entire career, although all four are incredibly spectacular. However, most of Barcelona’s attacks are started by Puyol. His passes – accurate, timely, smart – more than once in a season bring goals to the team. In 2003, the club held the election of the captain. Carles Puyol, the first Catalan in this post in a long time, received the captain’s armband by a majority vote. Barcelona is Puyol’s first and only club. Having survived the time of unrest with the blue garnet, now Carles is not even going to leave the team.
Puyol made his debut for the Spanish national team in 2009, taking part in all five matches of the national team in the Confederations Cup. At the group stage, the Spaniards took first place, in the semi-finals there was a misfire in the duel with the Americans, but in the match for third place, the Spaniards managed to take revenge, defeating the Americans and winning the bronze of the tournament. At the 2010 World Cup, Puyol’s goal brought the Spaniards to the final of the tournament – in the confrontation with the Germans in the 73rd minute, the Catalan’s goal from the transfer of another representative of the blue garnet Xavi became victorious. Puyol did not take part in the 2012 European Championship games due to a serious knee injury.
Carles Puyol does not like to advertise his personal life
Football is a tough, contact game. Puyol’s playing style has always been risky and traumatic, the Catalan did not avoid collisions and was not afraid of injuries. As a result, today Carles has experienced a lot. Puyol no longer even remembers any scars and dislocations – there were moments much more serious, which almost ended his career as a football player. At the very beginning of professional football activity, a serious injury to the ligaments of the knee joint miraculously did not put an end to Puyola.
Twice Puyol broke his cheekbone, the second time especially seriously. In a jump for a riding ball, the Catalan collided with the opponent’s head. The blow turned out to be incredibly strong – Carles always had no need for speed and energy. Puyol could not sit long without football then, he returned to duty in a specially designed mask that protected the fused bones. At first it was difficult, but then the Catalan got used to the new “accessory”. A year later, after a recurrence of the injury, Carles again had to enter the field in this mask. Barcelona fans found an unusual way to support their beloved captain – more than a thousand people came to the match wearing the same masks. After that, Carles jokingly thought: should he continue to play like this?
Some inconveniences, including those with traumatic consequences, create long hair for the defender, partially covering his eyes. However, the captain of the blue garnets is not going to cut their hair – he says that as long as he can remember himself, he walks with such a hairstyle for so long, and everything suits him.
Personal life of Carles Puyol
The football player prefers to keep his personal life a secret. Puyol tries to avoid talking about this topic, rightly arguing that his personal life is personal so that no one knows about it. The captain of the blue garnets presented his girlfriend Agnes to the public not so long ago, and then at her request. Circumstances were to blame for everything – one day a girl named Marina met Puyol in a supermarket and, recognizing her favorite football player, asked Carles to take a picture with her.
A few days later, crafty journalists found this photo on a social network and immediately published it in the newspapers, presenting Marina as Carles’ girlfriend and even the future Senora Puyol. Despite denials from Marina and Carles, this topic continued to be discussed in the press until Puyol “provided” to the press a whole photo report of a day in his life with Agnes. Having dispelled all doubts, Carles again began to avoid talking about his personal life. Lionheart prefers to be a lion only on the football field, believing that the role of a secular lion is clearly not for him.
Loss of a father
Soon Puyol again hit the front pages of newspapers. A misfortune happened – Carles’ father, Josep, died. He died absurdly, while working, at a fairly young age – 57 years old. Josep was laying asphalt when he was hit by a tractor. The doctors could not save Josep’s life, he died on the way to the hospital without regaining consciousness. It was hard for Carles to deal with the loss. He blamed himself for what happened first of all – after all, despite his decent income, Carles did not manage to convince his father, who was accustomed to his work, to leave her. Without exception, all Spanish clubs, including Real Madrid, the eternal rival of Barcelona, expressed their condolences to the Catalan captain.
This helped Tarzan get out of his depression, overcome his grief and restore his former power on the field again. “I thank everyone for the sympathy. Still, all the disagreements and contradictions between the clubs are a trifle compared to real grief, ”Puyol said. And he’s right, no doubt about it. Now Carles is the best player again. The captain’s armband is not given just like that.