the catalan paper ran a three-part feature on puyi last week. here is the complete translation of the first one (6 oct). by joan josep pallas
Carles Puyol: I Thought About Retiring
Last season did not go well for Carles Puyol. He suffered a long-term injury to his knee, to the point that he almost threw in the
towel. Now, having recovered and with renewed energy, he looks back and remembers those difficult moments. It is a different Puyol, thoughtful and personal. A Puyol who breaks his silence for Mundo Deportivo. This is the first chapter of a three-part series.
How is your knee?
Very good. I’ve recovered, every day is better and without problems. I’m very happy.
The past months have been very hard…
Eight in total. The first three were the most complicated because I could still train, I felt good, and then I’d suffer a relapse. When I played against Madrid in the Champions League semifinal, I already knew that I needed surgery. In the end, I could endure that month.
Why did you wait so long for the surgery?
Just when the pain disappeared, we had to play against Real Madrid and we didn’t have any CBs. Then, I got a hamstring injury, I couldn’t play during the Copa del Rey, the Champions came and I decided to wait. It was my decision to delay the surgery in case the team needed me.
Who was with you?
Everyone in the dressing room helped me in their own way. Juanjo Brau is the one I talked to throughout the injury. I have good friends. When I am injured, I am not very patient.
And the Champions League Final came, and you did not start. How did you feel about it?
I was ready but the others were more prepared than I was.
Was it worth all the sacrifice?
Yes, it was worth it. One should act according to how he feels. During the two legs of the Champions League semifinal, I thought about having the surgery because the pain was stronger and I did not feel good. But I could not let the team down. It was a horrible feeling because at any moment, I could fail and there were very important matches… I was not 100%.
It seems that now, you don’t take everything as badly as in previous years. Before, you couldn’t tolerate losing or not playing, you kept everything to yourself…
Yes, it’s true that now I am less affected by things.
How did that come about? Who has changed you?
It’s how life is. I’ve had unpleasant things in my personal life, things that have made me see that you cannot think about football 24 hours a day, that there are other things. I think that the strongest change came after the Eurocopa.
Do you feel liberated?
Before, I was obsessed, and obsessions are bad. The people around me did not have to endure my ranting.
Can we say that Puyol suffered with football before, and is now enjoying?
Yes, before I suffered much, I could not disconnect. It is also true that to live through such a time as this, with the titles that we are winning, not enjoying it would be illogical. It would be like shooting myself.
And what do you do when you don’t think about football?
I go out with my friends. Nothing unusual, doing what any person my age would do. I am still very careful, and now I also care about the people around me.
You’ve continued in la seleccion, despite the rumors. Until when?
I don’t know. While I was injured, I was almost convinced about leaving. In fact, I seriously considered retiring from football, leaving the club, leaving everything. But now, after these very tough eight months, I feel stronger and I prefer not to say anything…
Refute this: “after the Eurocopa, I will leave”
I already decided to leave the seleccion after the last World Cup and in the end I did not. I prefer not to say anything.
But it is still not ruled out…
No, it’s not ruled out.
They say it would be good to focus on Barça…
It is true that on one hand, everything is more complicated each time. You get older, there are many matches, the demands increase and the competition grows. But on the other hand… right now for example, I do well because I play with the national team and I’m the type of player who needs to train and play a lot. I cannot stand stopping for three or four days.
Until when will you play? To continue until you are forty does not sound like a joke…
Until I’m 40 to 45 (laughs). I continue to look forward to it, and I’m taking things step by step. Right now, after those endless eight months, I feel more eagerness and strength.
Will you always stay with Barça or have you not ruled out one last adventure?
I do not know, I can’t be sure. I feel important in this team and this is essential for me. During these months, I’ve enjoyed watching the team play, to see them is incredible, but now I want to join them once again. I can also be important without playing but that’s not how I think now. The day I don’t feel important, we’ll see…