Towards the end of the 08-09 season, puyi was interviewed by Powergym, the sponsor of his website. It was actually more of a spot for Powergym’s nutritional supplements, but they also covered a lot of topics in and out of puyi’s professional life.
Original can be found here (thank you again, claudi!)
Here’s a translation. My favorite lines in boldface, and my comments in italics.
We are very fortunate, and it is a great honor, to be able to interview one of the greatest and best-known Spanish footballers in the whole world: Carles Puyol. The great captain of FC Barcelona is and has always been an exemplary reference of professionalism, honor and (sorry I don’t know what “garra” is). He has been surprising the world for many years with his extraordinary energy, his tireless efforts and his indomitable spirit. A soul of a warrior in the body of a warrior. Heroic Hercules who seems to gain time battle after battle. Neither his back problems, nor the injuries he has suffered after years of giving everything on the pitch, his particular battlefield, nor the passing of the years seem to mar the impressive physique of this modern gladiator.
More after the jump
If he had been born during another era, Puyol would have been a perfect Spartacus, or Pheidippides, or one of the 300 Spartans in the Battle of Thermopylae. He is fast, strong and tireless in his efforts…a natural leader who exudes an aura of energy that is absorbed by and infects his teammates and opponents, and who inspires respect and admiration in everyone.
He is the soul and the example of the successful project of Guardiola this year. It may seem like an exaggeration, but we are dealing with an exceptional athlete like few others, who without a doubt is marking an era, and who will long be remembered for his sporting achievements and for his untarnished personal history. His record is impressive, and the best part is that it seems he can still stay for a long long time. But all of that is neither easy nor free. In order to achieve and stay at the forefront of his career, Carles Puyol has worked and works like no other. He never misses a workout, doesn’t go out at night when not playing, takes utmost care of his body and his diet, and of course, he has been helped by healthy and effective supplements for many years. He is another example of how elite athletes can improve their performance when they complement their training with adequate diet and food nutritional supplements.
At 31 years of age, at the prime of his career and about to launch his official website, we have, again, the good fortune of talking to him to find out his current and future plans, his projects and ambitions, and also, why not, some of the keys to his success in sports, especially in training and sports nutrition. We can know, thus, a little more about this great champion and some of his habits and tricks in training and supplementation.
PG: First of all, Carles, thank you for your kindness in granting this interview, and congratulations on your career and the fantastic year you have had with Barca.
CP: Thanks to all of you, and let’s hope the year continues this way.
PG: So many years in Barca… What has Barca meant to Carles Puyol? Do you wish to retire there, or have you not ruled out a change of scenery.
CP: It’s the team that has given me the opportunity to play football, and to play in the elite level. For me, it is an honor and [pride] to be a player of Barca, in fact since I was little, I’ve always been a fan and follower of the club, and I consider myself lucky that I can play for this great club. The idea is to retire here, and I hope that I can stay with the club for a long time, but with football you never know what can happen.
PG: I know the question is not original, but do you see yourself in the future as president of FCB?
CP: No, I do not see myself as president.
PG: Or maybe more as a coach or a technical secretary?
CP: The option that I like more is that of technical secretary, which I believe is a more relaxed job; the job of coaching I do not like.
PG: What do you think you will do when you’re already finished with the stage of being a professional football player?
CP: I have not planned it, but it would be related to football if I had a choice.
PG: And apart from football, what other hobbies do you have?
CP: I also like other sports, but I don’t have much time, and the club will not allow us so we will avoid physical exhaustion.
PG: What sports do you like as a spectator?
CP: I like athletics, tennis, paddle tennis (Paddle tennis is like tennis in a smaller court, played with a solid paddle instead of a woven racquet)
PG: Do you play? Or do you like to play other sports?
CP: Yes, I like paddle tennis and at times I practice a little. You always have a good time even if you don’t play at a high level.
PG: Tell us a little about your official website project…. When will it be active, what sections will it have..
CP: It’s already active. The address is carles5puyol.com. The most important sections are the blog, and the forum which allows people to participate, and also I myself will be participating and answering questions from fans. There will be a lot of photos of myself with Barca, the Spanish seleccion, the Catalan seleccion, and also my friends, etc.
PG: What is the secret to staying so many years in the elite of a sport as professionalized as football?
CP: There are many things; first I try to be professional, I’m very careful, I train hard, and off the pitch, it is important to take into account nutrition and supplementation.
PG: Does it cost you more now to maintain this exceptional physical form that you’ve always had?
CP: No, more or less the same. It’s just that when you get older, you should change your training a bit. You should be more careful and selective when doing the workouts. At the moment, I feel great and I hope it will last for many years.
PG: Until what age do you see yourself playing at the highest level?
CP: Until 35 or 36 is what I believe, but I don’t know, we will see.
PG: Throughout your career, you haven’t had any major injuries. What do you think that is due to?
CP: Apart from all that I do to prevent injuries, luck also plays a role, because football is a physical sport, with a lot of contact, and at times there are injuries that are inevitable.
PG: By the way, how is your back?
CP: Very good, since I started pilates, I’ve been well.
PG: Do you work with a personal trainer?
PG: Do you have other people who help you?
CP: Yes, I have a number of people around me apart from the club’s coaches, who are very good indeed. Anyway, I’m very happy with the results I’ve gotten with the help of the team outside the club.
PG: How are you feeling this year, physically?
CP: This year, I’ve felt very good, last season was more complicated because I was injured. This year, I was able to relax during the summer, I had a good preseason, and I feel really good.
PG: How many hours a day do you train?
CP: It depends, because when you play in Barca, you have a minimum of two fixtures per week and you cannot overdo the training because the matches are tough and afterwards you have to recover.
PG: Is the physical preparation very hard for a professional football player?
CP: No, I think it’s not. The hardest thing is the matches and that in training everyday you get roughed up and the physical contact is continuous and you will never train without having any discomfort. I think this is the hardest thing about football. Gosh I never imagined how much pain/discomfort they could be in.
PG: It isn’t easy to keep up with the pace of training and competition. To do this, do you have a specific nutritional plan, or do you eat what you want?
CP: Yes, it is true that you have to be careful with nutrition, you can eat a little of everything, but in moderation and depending on the occasion.
PG: Tell us some food tricks that work very well.
CP: I have no special trick. The only trick is to weigh yourself, and when you see that you have gained weight, pay more attention to what you eat.
PG: Do you also have a special supplement plan? And if so, who directs it, and how long have you been on it?
CP: Yes, for years I have followed a special and personalized supplementation plan. I believe that it is very important because in football and in playing professionally, there is a lot of wear, especially of you energy reserves. We also have the opinion of experts who say that increased production of free radicals can affect our recovery and performance. I fully trust in a very prestigous Spanish brand: Powergym, which has nutritional supplements that give you more energy, increased performance and better recovery. I took the word of my advisers and now I am very happy with the results. The club doctors, my nutritionist Marcos Hirsch and the technical staff at Powergym are the ones who have helped me in this area.
PG: How important is supplementation in your preparation? How do you think supplementation has helped you in the course of your career?
CP: I consider it an important and inseparable part of training; that supplementation, nutrition and rest are parts of training that are not seen. In my career, it has helped me be able to play at a very demanding competitive level, and also give the maximum performance.
PG: Is it usual that supplements help in professional football?
CP: Yes, more every time. When I started, I did not even take vitamin C. Right now, with the high pace of matches and training, I believe that it is absolutely essential to have a good supplement. I, at least what I’ve noticed a lot, have had an increased level of physical performance, especially after matches and after training.
PG: For your personal supplements, what brand do you choose and why?
CP: I choose Powergym, which I have been taking for a long time. After trying other brands, this has given me the best results and with which I feel better physically, and the truth is I’m very happy with it. Apart from effectiveness, which is one of the important points, I believe that Powergym gives me the confidence that I need as a professional because their product was recommended by the CAR of Sant Cugat, and I can be secure that the supplements are clean, since as a professional athlete I go through many doping tests.
PG: What products do you take, and what is the purpose of the supplements?
CP: I take the supplements as prescribed by my advisers, and they are not always the same. The basic ones I take are the Powergym sports drink, the Isopower, after training Glutapower and Bcaa’s, and antioxidants like Non Oxid and Vitapower. The Powerbomb as an energizer before training and matches is highly effective. Wow, that’s a lot of “basic”, puyi.
PG: Have you ever had a problem with anti-doping tests?
CP: No, never, and I’ve had many tests done, in fact some are surprised that I always get mine. I’m very quiet in this regard. I was a little lost in the translation for this part, because I couldn’t figure out if he meant people were surprised at how frequently he got picked for testing, or that they were surprised that he was always clean.
PG: Tell us some trick of nutrition or supplementation that’s very effective for training or competition.
CP: Look, the Powerbomb thirty minutes before leaving, especially for important games where there will be great intensity.
PG: Your biggest athletic and personal dream for this year…
CP: Athletic, to win titles this year. On a personal level, to maintain good health and avoid injuries. Umm, that’s still athletic, puyi.
PG: So be it, much luck, champion!
PG: To learn a little more about the personality of Carles Puyol outside the professional field, we proposed a small short-answer test. Here are his preferences:
A color: Blue
An actor and an actress: Julia Roberts and Pedro Leon
A movie: 300 why am i not surprised? he’d totally fit in! and no need for airbrushed abs, too!
A book or a writer: The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon this is an amazing pageturner that has been translated from its original spanish (la sombra del viento) into more than 40 languages, and is also iniesta’s book recommendation. It is set in post-war Barcelona, and features a skillfully woven plot around a boy’s coming of age and his search for truth. A bit of trivia: there’s passing mention of a boy in the community named Pepet Guardiola! hmmm..coincidence? Zafon has since published a prequel, El Juego del Angel or The Angel’s Game.
A cd or a band: Shuarma, Universo Shuarma is a musician from Barcelona who used to be part of a band called Elefantes. Universo was his first solo album, and Te Esperare is on the tracklist (see my post about puyi and shuarma). There are 12 other songs on the tracklist; some have a light upbeat tempo while others are downright cheesy. Great lyrics, though. Here are some of the other songs from the album; the third one (una flor…) is really good.
A television program: Crackovia hahaha how precious! i think it’s great that he can laugh at himself and is ok with being parodied in the show. in one segment of hat trick, he met jordi rios, the crackovia puyi. Here’s the clip (bonus! more pilates footage!)
A radio station: Kiss FM
A newspaper: No preference
A comic strip: No preference
A hobby: Paddle tennis
A console and a game: ProEvolution, Play Station
A car: Audi S3
A place to live: Catalunya
A cultural or recreational event: The Olympic Games
A place to relax: Miami
A mountain to climb: El Monzo (?)
A type of clothing: Sportswear
Shoes: Comfortable sneakers
A meal: Snails here’s a photo of him and bertran enjoying some escargot
A drink: Water
An isotonic drink: Isopower
A dessert: Strawberries with cream el capitan has a sweet tooth, no?
A fruit: Strawberry
An essential nutritional supplement: Powerbomb before games
An unforgettable memory: The final in Paris
A time of the day to make love: Any. Oh my god, I can’t even…
A public figure: Lance Armstrong one of six lucky guys to actually be followed by puyi on twitter.
An ideal woman: Elisabeth don’t ask me… no idea… and no info anywhere.
A historical figure: Neil Armstrong
An idyllic situation: The time of lifting the cup for the title
A superstition: Entering the pitch with the right foot
A vice: The Blackberry
A frustration: I have none. oh puyi, you’re always kind of zen, aren’t you?
A dream: To play until 37
A utopia: To play until 37.
That’s all, folks! Well! — that was a productive way to spend my sunday! Don’t we all feel so much closer to him with all this info? Haha 🙂
twitter update from puyi:
Hoy entreno en la ciudad deportiva y ahora a clase de pilates.