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Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol i Saforcada (; born 13 April 1978) is a Spain Association football who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spain national football team. Mainly a Defender (association football) Centre back, Carles Puyol can also play on Defender (association football) Full back, especially as a right back.

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Carles Puyol biography


Carles Puyol i Saforcada (; born 13 April 1978) is a Spain Association football who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spain national football team. Mainly a Defender (association football) Centre back, Carles Puyol can also play on Defender (association football) Full back, especially as a right back.

Carles Puyol served as a longtime Captain (association football) for Carles Puyol only club FC Barcelona after taking over from Luis Enrique Martínez García in August 2004, going on to appear in more than 500 official games for the team and win 18 major titles, notably five La Liga and three UEFA Champions League championships.

A Spain national football team on more than 100 occasions, Puyol was part of the squads that won the UEFA Euro 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Club career

Born in La Pobla de Segur, Province of Lleida, Catalonia, Puyol started playing football for Carles Puyol hometown club, as a Goalkeeper (association football). However, after injury problems with Carles Puyol shoulder, Carles Puyol switched to Forward (association football). Carles Puyol said that in Carles Puyol youth, "My parents were skeptical about me becoming a footballer and encouraged me to study." but no move ever materialized; two years later, the player extended Carles Puyol contract for a further five seasons.

Puyol was named Captain (association football) at the end of the 2003–04 La Liga, after the retirement of Luis Enrique Martínez García. Carles Puyol continued to be a defensive cornerstone for Barça, being awarded the "Best European right back" award by UEFA in 2002 (amongst other individual accolades), and helping the Catalans win two consecutive league titles. In 2005–06 La Liga, Carles Puyol appeared in a total of 52 official games, including 12 in 2005–06 UEFA Champions League's UEFA Champions League, which ended in conquest against Arsenal F.C., the club's second.

On 16 September 2008, Puyol made Carles Puyol 400th appearance in all competitions for Barcelona's first team in a 2008–09 UEFA Champions League against Sporting Clube de Portugal. In the 2008–09 La Liga, Carles Puyol dealt with injury problems, but still contributed to the team by appearing in 28 matches and helped to win another league title, Carles Puyol only goal coming in El Clásico at Real Madrid C.F. on 2 May 2009, which finished with a resounding 6–2 away win; from 2008–10 combined, other than the two league titles, Carles Puyol was essential in conquering the 2009 UEFA Super Cup, the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup, appearing in nearly 100 official matches, and describing the club as "the team who every Catalan child wants to play for... I am living the dream playing football for Barça and it is my dream to retire playing here." but still appeared in 28 official games for Barcelona, which again won the league and the Champions League. Carles Puyol played five minutes in 2011 UEFA Champions League Final of the latter competition, a 3–1 win against Manchester United.

Since the defeat to F.C. Internazionale Milano in the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League semi-final, Puyol went on to play 56 official games for Barcelona without losing, a run that only ended on 11 January 2012 at CA Osasuna (2–3 loss). Additionally, Carles Puyol scored two goals in 2011–12 Copa del Rey's Copa del Rey, against Real Madrid (2–1 away win, 4–3 on aggregate) and Valencia CF (1–1 away, 3–1 aggregate).

International career

{{Quote box
). Carles Puyol scored the only goal in the semifinal against Germany with a powerful header from a Corner kick taken by Barcelona teammate Xavi, sending the national team through to their first FIFA World Cup 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, and scoring Carles Puyol third international goal in 89 matches; in the final, Carles Puyol played the full 120 minutes, as Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0.

On 1 August 2010, 32-year Puyol announced that Carles Puyol would continue to play for the national team for at least another two years.

International goals

, who played with Carles Puyol for a short period of time, said, "Carles plays with maturity, has great positional sense, and above all, has pride in Carles Puyol shirt." Carles Puyol said in 2010, "I don't have Romário's technique, Marc Marc Overmars' pace or Patrick Patrick Kluivert's strength. But I work harder than the others. I'm like the student who is not as clever, but revises for Carles Puyol exams and does OK in the end." A former team-mate said, "Even four goals down Carles Puyol thinks we can still win",

{ (5): 2004–05 La Liga, 2005–06 La Liga, 2008–09 La Liga, 2009–10 La Liga, 2010–11 La Liga
- Copa del Rey (1): 2008–09 Copa del Rey; Runner-up 2010–11 Copa del Rey
- Supercopa de España (5): 2005 Supercopa de España, 2006 Supercopa de España, 2009 Supercopa de España, 2010 Supercopa de España, 2011 Supercopa de España
- UEFA Champions League (3): 2005–06 UEFA Champions League, 2008–09 UEFA Champions League, 2010–11 UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Super Cup (2): 2009 UEFA Super Cup, 2011 UEFA Super Cup; Runner-up 2006 UEFA Super Cup
- FIFA Club World Cup (2): 2009 FIFA Club World Cup, 2011 FIFA Club World Cup; Runner-up 2006 FIFA Club World Cup

Spain

- FIFA World Cup: 2010 FIFA World Cup
- UEFA European Football Championship: UEFA Euro 2008
- Summer Olympic Games: Silver medal Football at the 2000 Summer Olympics
- FIFA Confederations Cup: Third-place 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

Individual

- Don Balón Award: 2001
- European Sports Magazines: European Sports Magazines 2001–02, European Sports Magazines 2002–03, European Sports Magazines 2004–05, European Sports Magazines 2005–06
- UEFA Team of the Year: UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2002, UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2005, UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2006, UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2008, UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2009, UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2010
- UEFA Club Football Awards Best Defender: 2006
- FIFPro FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2007, 2008, 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or FIFA/FIFPro World XI
- UEFA Euro 2008 Awards
- 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Awards
- FIFA World Cup awards All-Star Team: 2010 FIFA World Cup

Decorations

- Prince of Asturias Awards: 2010
- Orders, decorations, and medals of Spain Society & culture: 2011

Personal life

In 2006, Puyol said that when not working, Carles Puyol leads "a very quiet life... I've not been to a nightclub in Barcelona for years either. When I go out, I stay in a restaurant with my friends." Carles Puyol practices yoga and Pilates, and according to a friend, Thubten Wangchen, is highly interested in Tibetan Buddhism and culture. Puyol met the Dalai Lama in 2007.
Puyol's father, Josep, died in a farming accident in late 2006 while Carles was on Carles Puyol way to play a match against Deportivo de La Coruña. Carles Puyol was informed of the news by coach Frank Rijkaard upon landing. Carles Puyol said that this, combined with an injury led to a dark period, with Spanish national team physio Raúl Martínez eventually coming to Barcelona: in the player's words, Carles Puyol "...gave me a great telling off. Carles Puyol made me react, and I began to try to be more cheerful, and not overwhelmed by it all."

Puyol's long shaggy hair has been a distinctive feature throughout Carles Puyol career. Barcelona manager van Gaal, suggested Carles Puyol get it cut when the player was 19, immediately after Carles Puyol first training session with the senior players: "What's your problem, can't you afford the money for a haircut?", Van Gaal asked Carles Puyol in Carles Puyol office. "I said nothing," Puyol remembered, "and to this day have kept my hair as is. Carles Puyol likes to warm up for games listening to Napalm Death.

In March 2009, Puyol told Goal.com: "I do not like to go out much, although it is good to disconnect and I like to read." In September of the following year, Carles Puyol started a relationship with Model (person) Malena Costa. On 16 October, Carles Puyol scored through a header in a 2–1 home win against Valencia CF, and dedicated her the goal by making a heart symbol with both hands. “I dedicate the goal to my girlfriend”, Carles Puyol said after the game.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carles_Puyol

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