Seedorf, Lampard and Luis García grill Puyol
Carles Puyol dazzled fans this weekend as the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, presented by UniCredit, drew to a close in Rome.
The Italian capital holds happy memories for Puyol, as it was there that he won the second of his three UEFA Champions League titles with Barcelona at the city’s Stadio Olimpico in 2009. Crowds flocked to the Piazza del Popolo to meet him and get their picture taken with the trophy.
The former Barça skipper took part in a Q&A for followers of the official @UEFAChampionsLeague Instagram account – little did he know that three other UEFA Champions League-winning favourites would also want to #AskPuyol …
Clarence Seedorf (a four-time winner with Ajax, AC Milan and Real Madrid): We played many times in the #UCL against each other. I know you would have liked to play in Italy, especially for AC Milan, to try to win it with another team. We were waiting for you. Why didn’t you come?
Carles Puyol: It’s true, we played against each other a lot. It was always a pleasure to play against you … you’re a magnificent player, one of the best. Indeed, I had the chance to go to Italy, I always liked AC Milan, too. But when you’re at ‘home’, when they look after you, when you feel valued it’s very hard to leave … I’m extremely proud and very happy to have played my entire career at Barcelona.
Frank Lampard (scorer of a penalty in Chelsea’s 2012 shoot-out win): Who’s the best manager you’ve ever worked under and do you have ambitions to become a boss?
Puyol: I’ve had some brilliant coaches, but if I had to choose just one it’d have to be Pep Guardiola. He showed us so much and we had probably the best moments of my career, or at least I reckon the best time of my career – above all in 2008/09, which was quite frankly a magic year. Right now I don’t have coaching in my plans … in the future you never know but right now I have other plans
Luis García (part of Liverpool’s 2005 triumph): When we were coming through the ranks together in Barcelona B you almost left … what made you stay and become the legendary Puyol we all know today?
Puyol: Well, first of all I stayed because that’s what I wanted to do … I wanted to be a success at Barcelona. Other people had other plans for me, but Louis van Gaal came along, he had confidence in me and for that I have to give the boss my thanks, to Louis, because without him none of this would have happened.