Carles Puyol interview: Lionel Messi can play til he's 40

Carles Puyol interview: Lionel Messi can play til he's 40

Valdano said that yours was an unrepeatable generation. 

Above all because all of the main players were from here. It's very difficult for so many to coincide at the same period. Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Valdes, etc... Xavi. Passion for football, the motor of this generation. A privilege to be with him. I only had wanted to get the ball back and pass it to him. Iniesta. In the final of the Copa del Rey he was like a dancer. He's so good. Elegant, like a child who has never broken a plate... 

And we arrive at Messi. What can you say about him that hasn't already been said?

I agree with those who said he's been Barcelona's umbilical cord in the last 10 years. I have no doubts that we are looking at the best player in history. He's always good, he never hides and if he wants to he can be at the helm until he's 40. 


He's in constant evolution. He has no ceiling. He dominates in all aspects of the play. His influence is absolute. 

And Puyol... could you have stayed longer?

No. I am very demanding and I don't just want to play well, but train too. And my knee stopped me. The club wanted me to continue, to be with the team, but it was more honest on my part to take a step out and recover better. 

Tata Martino hoped for you...

And I'm grateful for it. I felt bad because I had the feeling that I failed. I did the impossible, I got there, but in the end I had to accept my fate.

Do you want to come back to FC Barcelona?

Although Barca is my home, right now I'm not thinking about it. I'm excited to share a company with De la Pena and Sostres, it's a project I like a lot. 

I ask you because you had a brief spell as director of football...

It was only two months and a half with Zubzarreta. I left of my own accord. Before they got rid of Zubi, I had already told the club a month before I was going. The asked me to wait a bit.

Were you annoyed because they axed Zubi?

It hurt me. I didn't like the decision, but I respect what the club did.

And why did you leave? 

I thought I was mistaken. When you stop playing you need a time of tranquility, taking in everything. My knee was not good, I couldn't play sport. I was also close with the players, the coach. 

How about Luis Enrique!

He's spectacular. Like Pep, he has the same passion for his work, the same idea, although they are different characters.