The name Carles Puyol is inextricably linked to the city of Barcelona. Arriving at the fabled La Masia youth system at the reasonably tender age of 17, the defender became a club icon – winning trophies galore and spending his entire senior career with Barça.
The FIFA Legend spoke to us after he had completed a run on the well-trodden Carretera de les Aigües, a trail that winds in and out of the hills above Barcelona. It was a path where Puyol came to put in the extra miles outside of regular training during his playing career, and his commitment to go above and beyond post-retirement is already bearing fruit.
“I want to give back to society what football has given me,” Puyol says matter-of-factly. “It made me the man I am today.”This is the ethos that makes Puyol a key figure in the FIFA Legends programme. The group of former top level players from across men’s and women’s football are global representatives of FIFA’s efforts to develop football, and help promote fair play, respect, equality, solidarity and peace. The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ winner is a perfect example of these qualities.
We met Carles Puyol for an exclusive chat in Barcelona. He had just completed a run on a trail in the hills above the city – a path where he came to put in the extra miles outside of regular training during his playing days. This desire to go above and beyond makes him a key figure in the FIFA Legends programme. The group of former top level players are global representatives of FIFA’s efforts to develop football.
Not everybody’s fortunate enough to achieve what I was able to. My parents and upbringing taught me about being humble.
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FIFA 1904 is a monthly magazine which is published as both a print edition and as a free online publication. The 68-page magazine contains in-depth stories and interviews about football from around the world, with a special focus on FIFA's development projects and activities, competitions, events and member associations.