MILAN – The Spanish Carles Puyol, former captain of Barcelona, considered that the fact that the Argentine Lionel Messi has decided to remain in the Catalan team is excellent not only for his club but for the entire LaLiga, as it is “a huge asset” at the level sports and media.
“Like culé, I didn’t want Messi to leave, but it’s football. In the end he decided to stay, he said recently that he is motivated, that he wants and we hope he can continue with us for many years. He is a huge asset for LaLiga, he is one of the best in the world. world, “said Puyol, who participated together with Iker Casillas and LaLiga president Javier Tebas in the Sports Festival, organized in Milan by the newspaper ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’.
Puyol, who was sitting next to Casillas, joked about the fact that “perhaps Iker would have liked a Barcelona more without Messi”, but considered that “all football fans are in some way linked” with the Argentine number 10, because his game is “fascinating”.
The former Barcelona captain, who retired in 2014 after winning everything with his club and with the National Team, acknowledged that he grew up with a passion for Milan, from which he had offers, but stressed that he is proud of having lived his entire career at the Catalan painting.
“The curiosity to change is there, but then you have to evaluate many things. I was proud to play for Barcelona, it is something that I carry inside. The circumstances were favorable, the club always counted on me. In 2014, I had knee problems and I resigned But I was fifteen years in the first team, “he said.
“I received offers from other teams, Italian and English. I have never hidden that I would have liked to play for Milan, to play with Paolo Maldini, who for me is an idol. Milan was having a good time then, but I am very happy to have joined stayed at Barcelona, ”he added.
He also recognized that, despite having reached excellent levels personally and with his team, he has never thought of winning a Ballon d’Or.
“I never thought about that. When you live with Messi, with (the Portuguese) Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernández, Casillas, it is difficult to say who is better. The goals make the difference and Messi and Cristiano were the rivals. Xavi and Iniesta were huge players But they went unnoticed despite working hard, “he said.
Champion of Europe 2008 and World 2010 with Spain, Puyol highlighted the affinity that existed in the squad of the National Team in those years.
“We were lucky enough to play with a special generation, with people who gave importance to the group. Iker was the captain, but he accepted our advice with pleasure. He was not one of those captains who set up a dictatorship. This is the most important value. If a team is not united it is difficult to achieve a goal, “he said.
When reviewing the best Classics of his life, Puyol chose the 2-6 at the Bernabéu, in 2009, as his favorite.
“I made my debut in the Classical with a 2-2 at the Camp Nou, but if I have to choose one, I choose the 2-6 at the Bernabéu. It was our first year with Pep Guardiola. We started the League very well, but then the Madrid began to come back. There were three games to go, we had four points to go and winning that game was the sentence, “he said.
“But I also remember the previous year, when we had to make the corridor to Madrid. I wanted that game to end soon, we lost 4-1 and they were able to score more,” he added.