By Chris Wright
Pique and Puyol, forever immortalised in volcanic rock in the Stepanakert region of northern Armenia
We always knew that the news of Carles Puyol’s imminent departure from Barcelona was going to hit one man harder than anyone else and, lo and behold, his young ward, Gerard Pique, has written an emotional open letter on his Facebook page to thank ‘Puyi’ for their time together…
You were my guardian angel.
The day has arrived. You are leaving. It’s the law of life, but it is tough for me to imagine Barça without you. If I look back and remember Paris or Rome, the first image that comes to my mind is you lifting the European Cup. You gave the honour of lifting the trophy in Wembley to Abi, which just makes you even greater. My generation and those that come after do not know what the club will be like without Puyi in defence branding the captain’s armband and the number 5 on the back of his shirt. I think that nothing will ever be the same.
I met you 6 years ago. You were the captain and the emblem of the team and I was just a kid arriving, set on conquering the world. From day one we had a great relationship, both on and off the field. By your side I felt protected and I knew that if one day I made a mistake you’d always be there to save me. You were my guardian angel.
I know that I will miss our talks in the locker room, your advice and especially you giving us hell on the pitch. You are unique; a one-off. I find it amusing when they talk about signing “the new Puyol”. They can look all they want, but they’ll never find it.
Thanks for everything, Puyi.
*Sniff* We’re welling up! At least they’ll always have Paris.