In a Spain’s national team press conference, FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol yesterday answered a few pointed questions about himself, Barcelona and the selection.
He started off by admitting that “before renewing with the club, I did ask for some time to ponder about a possible move abroad but in the end I decided to stay and renew until 2013 but I wanted to be sure a hundred percent before signing on. I am very happy with Barcelona and the club has treated me very well”, as well as denying rumours about a rift with his coach before the signing: “It’s totally false what was said about me not renewing because we are not getting along well. It is not just the coach and my teammates who are happy (with the contract extension), I am very happy with it too. I respect him (Guardiola)a lot”.
Queried about the possible signing of Robinho over the winter, the player said “the Brazilian is a great player, but we already have equally good players in that position such as Henry, Bojan, Pedro and Iniesta, who can also play on the wings. I believe we already have a complete squad”.
On his possible future undertakings when he retires, Puyol confessed “I don’t want to be neither a coach nor the club’s president but you can never say never. I believe that the coach’s job is tough with all the pressures (to succeed) put on them,” though he did admit the Technical Secretary position does interest him.
Questioned as to which coach he likes to work with over the years, the player acknowledged that “van Gaal worked the hardest but Guardiola also spent hours (immersed in his job). As a coach, Pep is very close with the players and respects them a lot”.
Puyol also spoke about Real Madrid’s Copa del Ray elimination, saying “Alcorcon did pull a surprise. No one expected the result as Madrid did spend a lot to assemble (a formidable squad) at the Bernabéu”.
Carles Puyol also talked about his national team and club teammates, Gerard Pique, Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Cesc Fabregas: “Pique already knew the club (philosophy).He is a very good central defender and I believe that he has secured his place both with Barcelona and with Spain for years to come”.
“Chygrynskiy is an addition we have been thinking about as there are many matches to be played (this season). He is a good player who needs to be given some time (to prove himself). He is adapting well and has a good future (with the club ahead of him)”.
“Cesc would have had his reasons for leaving, and (must have felt) he would just not have had the same opportunities (at Barcelona) as he has had at Arsenal. He is a player valued highly in the transfer market and he has great qualities, but even if he does come, I hope we don’t pay too much for him. It is not easy for him that people are talking so much about him because he is with another club, although it is clear that we would like to have him because he is good friend and one of the best players in the world. He knows very well the philosophy of Barcelona “
In the interview he also answered questions about his condition, the friendly match against Argentina last Saturday and the World Cup, Puyol said: “I’m being treated to see if we can solve the discomfort that I felt in my left knee . I did not feel okay and decided to ask for the substitution”.
“It was an intense match but that is football. They come from a difficult situation and play against a team that has a lot of the ball. But they would not hurt us,” he said about the tough-tackling Argentina team.
Talking about Spain’s chances in the upcoming World Cup and his future participation, the player said, “I think we can achieve something significant in the (2010) World Cup, but we must be (extra) careful when facing powerful teams. My intention now is to play in the (2010) World Cup and then we will see. I may retire (from international football) after that. I am getting on with age but I haven’t decided yet”.
Finally answering a question about El Clasico and the possibility that Cristiano Ronaldo might miss it due to injury, Puyol said, “I think it’s a game where all players want to be present, and he is one of the best and I want to play against the best. I don’t want anyone to miss it through injury”.