Did you Know?
Puyol was regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation. Mainly a central defender, he was a versatile player who could also feature on either flank, mostly as a right-back, in particular in the first part of his career. He also initially played as a defensive midfielder in his early career, and had previously even been deployed as goalkeeper and striker in his youth. Described as a “no–nonsense” player, Puyol was known for his commanding presence in the air despite his modest stature, as well his ability to read the game, and his intense commitment and ruggedness as a defender, in particular when challenging for the ball. According to Barcelona’s head doctor, he was “the strongest, who has the quickest reactions, and who has the most explosive strength.” In 2006, Simon Talbot of The Guardian described Puyol as: “Barcelona’s very own Captain Caveman, playing football with his heart on his sleeve and his hair in his eyes, throwing himself about the pitch and launching wholeheartedly into kamikaze tackles like a hyperactive, lunatic kid.” Club fans referred to him as “The Wall”.