Barcelona’s Carles Puyol says he gave everything he could to both the club and football as a whole as he prepares to leave the Catalan giants.
The 36-year-old will be at Camp Nou for the final time as a Barca player on Saturday as his side face Atletico Madrid in a La Liga title decider.
Earlier this afternoon, the World Cup winner attended a special goodbye event organised for him by the Blaugrana, after which he spoke to the Spanish media for the final time as a Barca player.
When asked about his plans for the future, he replied that he was still concentrating on recovering from a knee injury that has ruled him out for much of the season and dismissed the possibility of becoming a Coach any time soon.
“One of my projects is to get my knee better,” Puyol told reporters at a Press conference. “For that, I will have to allow it to rest. I have a lot of things to sort out in these coming weeks.
“I will have to talk to my partner. The club spoke to me but there are still a lot of things that need to be sorted.
“I’ve prepared to play and to be fit for the team. Now I need to get in shape. I don’t think I will be a Coach for the moment, the idea is to work in other areas of the club.
“Playing at Camp Nou has been the maximum for me. My father always told me to make sure that if I didn’t make it, it wasn’t for having not given everything.
“Because of this, I always fight until the end. I gave everything to Barca and to football.
“It hurts me that I haven’t been able to help the team on the pitch, which is where I wanted to be. If I couldn’t do it here, it’s difficult to see how I could do it somewhere else.
“I want my knee to recover so I can carry on playing sports. I will explain to my daughter that I had the chance to enjoy the dream of millions of children.
“It would excite me if I could continue working closely with the club, though never as a Coach!
“It’s not only me who forms the club’s history, we are all forming it together.”
Puyol then discussed Saturday’s vital match against Diego Simeone’s side but confirmed he will not be playing due to his troublesome knee.
“I hope we win, what I am sure about is that we will give it our best shot. We have reasons to fight for it.
“I’d like to win the League for the Coach and also so that we can dedicate it to Tito Vilanova. Our results haven’t been as good as we had hoped, but we still have a chance.
“I won’t play against Atletico. The Coaches know that we have a title to go for so I won’t be on the bench either.
“I don’t think I’ll need to give a speech to the players. If we are all together we can do it.
“Tata Martino deserves it. He was always at my side and that was really appreciated when things were going badly for me. Being Barca Coach is not easy. You have to win and in addition play well. For me it was very difficult to keep trying to come back but not making it.”
Finally, the outgoing defender revealed his favourite memory during his time at Barca.
“It was when Abidal lifted the Champions League trophy and everything it symbolised. He deserved it more than anyone.”