By Chris Wright
Given that he bleeds blaugrana, we honestly thought he’d retire before ever turning out for another club but it has been announced this afternoon that Carles Puyol is to leave Barcelona at the end of the season after they agreed to mulch the final two years of his contract.
Puyol’s contract was scheduled to run until 2016, but the two parties have mutually agreed to waive the final two seasons.
Having called a press conference this afternoon to discuss his future, Puyol said:
“I want to announce that at the end of the season I will no longer be a Barcelona player.
“There are three months of the season left and I will not give up. I will help the team.
“After two recent surgeries, it has become harder for me to recover the level that I demand of myself and that I need to be at to play here.
“I don’t know what I will do after June 30th, but I’m sure that in the summer I will rest.
“I would like to have a press conference at the end of the season to say a proper goodbye after a total of 19 years at the club.”
The veteran centre-back, now aged 35, has been at Barcelona since he joined as a 16-year-old way back in 1995 and leaves having won an incredible 18 trophies in his 19 years at the Camp Nou.
The beating heart of the Barca back-line for many years, Puyol has found himself marginalised for a variety of reasons of late – though he remains a true talisman for fans and fellow players alike.
He’ll be sorely missed, if not in terms of first-team action then in terms of presence – we’re certain they’ll be more than a few tears shed when he finally parts ways with the only club he’s ever known.
Here he is heading a plant pot…
Hero + legend = Herogend.
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