Captain Carles Puyol to leave FC Barcelona at the end of the season
The FC Barcelona captain made the announcement to the media on Tuesday afternoon, after having reached an agreement with the Catalan club. The player’s contract will be rescinded at the end of June and leave it without effect for the two years that were left on it. After two serious operations, the Catalan centre-back – who in April will be 36 years old – “finds it very hard to get back to the level” needed to play for Barça, “much more” than he thought and “the surgeons told” him. However, Puyol emphasised that there are still three months of the season left and that he “will not give up” and “will keep fighting to the end”. The player explained he had not made any future plans yet. He also announced he will hold a press conference to “say farewell to all the people that have accompanied him”. Carles Puyol has been a Barça player for 14 years, playing 593 games and scoring 18 goals.
Barcelona (FCB).- Carles Puyol announced to the press on Tuesday afternoon at FC Barcelona’s Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper that he is leaving the club at the end of the current season. Puyol – who in April will be 36 years old – has developed all his career at Barça, being trained at the club’s famous football academy La Masía. The Catalan centre-back has been a player of Barça’s first team for 14 years, debuting with the first team in October 1999 with Louis Van Gaal. He has played 593 games for the first team and scoring 18 goals. He has won 3 UEFA Champions Leagues, 2 FIFA Club World Cups, 2 UEFA Super Cups, 6 Spanish Leagues, 2 Spanish Cups and 6 Spanish Super Cups with FC Barcelona. In addition, he won the FIFA World Cup in 2010, the European Cup in 2008 and the Olympics Silver Medal in 2000 with the Spanish Team. Puyol is famous for his strength and quick reactions as a defender. On 3 occasions he has been named part of the FIFA World XI, the last time in 2010.
Here is a translation of his exact words:
“The reason I have called you here today is to tell you that at the end of the season I will no longer be an FC Barcelona player. The club knows about this and we agreed on the matter and how it should be dealt with. We shall rescind my contract and leave it without effect for the two years that were left on it.
After two very serious operations, I’m finding it very hard to get back to the level I need 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’d like to say three things on the matter:
1.- 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.
2.- 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.
3.- And finally I’d like to give a press conference at the end of the season and say farewell to all the people that have accompanied me though these 19 years. Whoever wants to, whoever can, presidents, directors, coaches, team-mates, people from the club, reporters, friends, relatives, that day I’ll answer whatever questions they want. Thank you very much and I’ll see you soon!”