I dream of return to football - Puyol

5 years ago

The 36-year-old retired from the game in May but admits he often contemplates pulling on his boots again

Former Barcelona defender Carles Puyol has revealed he dreams of making a return to football, seven months after hanging up his boots.

The 36-year-old spent his entire career at Camp Nou, spanning 15 years between 1999 and 2014, before announcing his retirement in May this year.

Puyol has since assumed a new role at the club as Barcelona's Assistant Director of Sport, and though he admits injury meant he couldn't possibly play on, says he misses the game dearly.

"I often dream of returning and playing football again," he said in an interview with AS.

"I really miss playing and training, I have to be honest. But now I still can't really play any sport at all at the moment because of the knee injury that ended my career.

"Little by little it is slowly getting better, but I retired because I literally couldn't do anything. I ached even doing daily movements, I haven't even been able to run."
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Puyol's career could quite easily have panned out very differently had he decided to leave the club after Barca accepted an offer from Malaga when he was part of their 'B' side.

Frank de Boer and Michael Reiziger were ahead of him in the pecking order, but he refused to depart and went on to make his breakthrough in the first team under Louis van Gaal the following season.

"There were many turning points in my career but if I have to choose one in particular, it would certainly be when I was about to leave Barcelona 'B' and decided to stay.

"That same season under Van Gaal I went into the first team and played more than 30 games."

In a wide-ranging interview, the former Spain international also described his proudest moment as a professional, but surprisingly it wasn't any of the trophies he lifted in a glittering career.

"I was doing recovery for my injured knee ahead of the Champions League final against Manchester United. I had a few days in London to prepare and I discussed with people that if we won the game (Barca went on to win 3-1) then I wanted [Eric] Abidal to lift the trophy.

"That act is possibly the one I'm most proud of in my career."

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