Barcelona Captain Carles Puyol announces to leave Camp Nou by end of the season
Barcelona captain Charles Puyol announced his departure from Camp Nou at the end of 2013 - 2014 season after his long association of 15 years with the club.
Puyol said "At the end of the season I will leave FC Barcelona. The club are aware of this and we are in agreement." Puyol, who signed in a new deal with the club back in January 2013, commented in June about his injury and he would leave the club if the issue persists which prevents him playing a significant part of the game.
He was only featured for 10 times this season and declared to pump up for a new challenge with less demanding environment.
"After the last two operations it has been difficult for me to recover the level I need to be able to continue here, more than I expected and more than surgeons said. That is why I have taken this decision."
However, the next decision is still not disclosed but clearly stated that he will do his best to contribute significantly for the remaining few seasons with his club. "I don't know what I will do on June 30. What I do know is that I will need time to rest. I have had four years without a break due to the injuries. That is what I will do and then we will see."
The recent announcement by Puyol marks the end of an astounding career that started in 1999. He is the second most decorated player behind Xavi Hernandez, who made 593 appearances.
Puyol, beginning his career as right-back position moved to centre-backs in world football winning six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues from this club.
Andreas Iniesta, on his Facebook page stated "I will continue to enjoy being at your side until the end of this season. It has been an honour. I wish you the best for what is to come. There is no one like you captain,"
Cesc Fabregas tweeted "Thanks captain for all you have taught me. Good luck,"
Vincent Del Bosque, coach for Spain said, "Carles is an example for everyone on and off the field,"
Former Barca midfielder commented "He is a natural leader, a person that when you hear his name you think of Barcelona."
Puyol was a part of Spain team when the country won the European Championship in 2008 and the first World Cup in 2010. He represented Spain for 100 times with his last appearance in a friendly match with Uruguay in February 2013, winning by 3 - 1.