Saturday, December 20, 2008

Carles Puyol Shies Away From Paolo Maldini Comparison

Blaugrana stalwart, Carles Puyol has hinted that he wants to play on for another ten years, but he humbly declined to be compared with another iconic defender who has played into his 40’s.

Versatile Barcelona defender and true-blue Catalan, Carles Puyol has confessed that he would like to carry on playing until he is 40 years old and he also revealed his intention to retire in the blue-and-maroon colours of Barca.

“I feel I have another ten years before I retire. Right now, I am feeling great physically and I want to keep on playing as long as my body will allow it,” he said during an interview with Radio Catalunya.

“The club already know that I want to stay here for many more years to come and my dream is to retire at Barcelona,” he added.

His remarks immediately drew comparison to AC Milan legend, Paolo Maldini but he did not feel comfortable with the association.

“It’s very hard to make these type of comparisons. All I know is that the day I stop enjoying the game or I physically can’t go on, then I will leave,” he reiterated.

The attention quickly turned to Barcelona’s title race and the 30-year-old captain admitted he is fearful that the fans may be celebrating a little too early.

“All this excessive euphoria is a little dangerous. But in the dressing room, the players have their feet firmly on the ground.

“We can’t afford to rest eventhough we are 12 points ahead of Real Madrid. You can never rely on them. For me, they remain our biggest rival,” he cautioned.

Finally, Puyol was asked to give his view on another comparison: that of coach Pep Guardiola to Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I would be delighted if Pep can become the Alex Ferguson of Barca. But I imagine it will be very difficult because of the way our club is. But he is certainly more than capable of it,” he concluded.

KS Leong,