Thu 14 January 2021 | 14:30

Carles Puyol Biography

One of the best defenders of his days and definitely one of the best Spanish central defenders of all time, in this article, we take a look at Carles Puyol’s biography.

Carles Puyol, born on 13 April 1978 in La Pobla de Segur in Catalonia, is a Spanish international footballer. He played as a defender from the mid-1990s to the mid-2010s. He is acknowledged as one of the best players in his position in the 2000s. He ended his professional football career in 2014.

Carles Puyol took his first steps in the Spanish top division with the first team of FC Barcelona on 2 October 1999. In his 15 years with the club, ten of them as captain, Puyol won five

La Ligas

, three

Champions Leagues

and two

Club World Cups

, among others.

He is also part of the team that won an unprecedented six-fold in 2008-2009. At the time of his retirement in June 2014 due to recurring injuries, Puyol was the second player to play the most matches for Barcelona behind his friend Xavi.

Puyol made his debut with the Spanish national team on 15 November 2000, a few months after losing the final of the Sydney Olympics. After several top finishes, he won the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup. In 2012, an injury prevented him from taking part in winning the Euro 2012 title with La Roja. Puyol retired from international football in 2013 after reaching the 100 caps during which he scored three goals.

Carles Puyol is the seventh player in the history of the Spanish national team with the most matches played, making a total of 100 appearances. He participated in three

FIFA World Cups

(Korea and Japan 2002, Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010), a FIFA Confederations Cup (South Africa 2009), a European Championship (Austria-Switzerland 2008) and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

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All You Need to Know About Carles Puyol Biography

In September 2014, Carles Puyol was appointed assistant to Andoni Zubizarreta as sports director of FC Barcelona. He held this position until January 2015, when he resigned after Zubizarreta's dismissal.

Carles Puyol Information

Now that we know Carles Puyol a little more, it is the time to read some general information about him, before moving on to the next sections of Carles Puyol biography, so just stay tuned!

Carles Puyol Bio

  • Full Name: Carles Puyol Saforcada

  • Nickname: Tarzan

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Carles Puyol Physical Stats

  • Weight: 80 Kg

  • Height: 1.78 m

  • Eye Color: Blue

  • Hair Color: Light brown

Carles Puyol Football Information

  • Position: Defender

  • Jersey Number: 5

  • Professional Debut: 1997

Carles Puyol Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 13 April 1978

  • Birth Place: La Pobla de Segur, Spain

  • Zodiac Sign: Aries

  • Nationality: Spanish

Stay tuned to read more of Carles Puyol biography and

Carles Puyol life story


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Carles Puyol Early Life


Carles Puyol childhood

, he began playing football in the club of his hometown, La Pobla de Segur, as a goalkeeper. A back problem forced him to change his position and he became a striker. His parents were doubtful about him becoming a footballer and encouraged him to study. During the 1993-1994 season, he played in the youth team of CF Pobla before joining the club's first team the following season.

At only sixteen years old, his parents encouraged him to practice hard because the competition was very tough. His talent quickly attracted attention and he joined La Masia, the training academy of FC Barcelona, at the age of 17 in 1995.

Carles Puyol started out as a right winger, which helped him improve his speed, dribbling and crossing skills. He also played as a midfielder. After his first season with Youth team in 1995-1996, in which he won the Spanish Cup in category 5, Puyol joined FC Barcelona C (team 3) in 1996-1997 and finished second in the Tercera División (D4) under Josep Maria Gonsalvo.

During the 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 seasons, Puyol played one match against

FC Barcelona B

in the Segunda División and scored a goal each time. As a result, he was sent to the B team in the second year.

In 1997, with the arrival of Louis van Gaal as head coach of FC Barcelona's first team, Josep Maria Gonsalvo took over the management of the reserve team with the mission of moving up to the Segunda División and brought his defender, Carles Puyol, on board. During the first training sessions of FC Barcelona B, van Gaal noticed his talent.

First in the Segunda División B (D3) group in 1997-1998 and later promoted to D2 with his team-mate Xavi Hernandez, the coaches called Puyol up at the end of the season to tell him that


wanted him, that they had reached an agreement for a transfer and that he should leave.

Puyol stayed and played with his team in the Segunda División (D2) during the 1998-1999 season. Carles Puyol had two full seasons with FC Barcelona B, playing 36 and 38 matches respectively. Stay tuned to read more of

Carles Puyol biography

and his football career.

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Carles Puyol Profile

With the number 32, Puyol made his debut with the first team of FC Barcelona, on October 2, 1999 Liga against


. Louis van Gaal introduced him to the first team at the age of 21 years and 172 days.

His appearances became more and more impressive during the 1999-2000 season, when he replaced Michael Reiziger as right-back. His appearances became more and more regular until he became a key right-back for the team. The defender played 37 games that season. Due to his determination to improve and an impressive work rate, Carles Puyol was then positioned in central defence.

For the 2000-2001 season, Puyol took the number 24, which he kept for two seasons. On 21 October 2000, at just 22 years of age, his coach asked him to individually mark Luís Figo, who returned to the Camp Nou with Real Madrid in the El Clásico. His match against Figo was impressive and Barcelona won 2-0.

He scored his first goal on 11 November 2001 in a match against Valladolid, where everything began for him a year earlier. On that night, Carles Puyol played well with Saviola for the Catalans.

For the 2002-2003 season, Carles Puyol took the number 5 which would be his for the rest of his career. On 23rd October 2002, as a sign, the defender saved a goal with his heart against

Lokomotiv Moscow

in the Champions League (victory 1-0). The ball hits the Barcelona crest.

In 2003, the then president, Joan Gaspart, had him sign a contract extension until 30 June 2007, which made Carles Puyol one of the highest-paid players at the club. During the 2003-2004 season, he was chosen as the team's third captain and played an important role in the team. He played 27 matches at La Liga and seven in the EUFA Champions League.

Following the retirement of Luis Enrique and the departure of Phillip Cocu, Puyol was elected captain in 2004 ahead of Ronaldinho and Xavi Hernandez after a vote by FC Barcelona players and staff. In the 2004-2005 season, the defender won the Spanish La Liga for the first time. He was then a key member of Frank Rijkaard's team.

In September 2005, the international defender extended his contract with FC Barcelona until June 2010 and declared: "I am really happy. I have always said that I want to stay here and from today I promise to give my all for the team". The new captain of FC Barcelona played a large number of matches during the season. He scored his only goal of the season in the 5-0 win over Real Sociedad in Liga. 

He won the Champions League that season against


at the Stade de France. Puyol then said: "For a footballer, winning the Champions Cup with the captain's armband is a great achievement. I think we deserve this success, we had a great season". Like Alexanko fourteen years earlier, Puyol lifted the European trophy for FC Barcelona, the second in the Club's history.

In the 2008/09 season, in which

FC Barcelona

won the Triple, Puyol was one of his team's key players. Apart from the Champions League final against

Manchester United

, in which Pep Guardiola played him at right-back due to Dani Alves' suspension, he usually played alongside Rafael Márquez or Gerard Piqué in central defence.  In Barcelona's historic 6-2 win over Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu that season, Puyol put his side 2-1 ahead with his header from Xavi's free-kick. It was his first league goal since scoring on the final day of the 2006/07 season in a 5-1 win over Gimnàstic de Tarragona.

At the start of the 2009/10 season, Puyol's future at Barça was somewhat unclear due to the signing of young centre-back Dmytro Chyhrynskyj for €25 million, as his contract was only valid until 2010.  In the end, Puyol was able to remove all doubts by extending his contract for three more years in October 2009 and having a season in which he could play the most minutes after goalkeeper Víctor Valdés. In addition, he won the FIFA Club World Cup with his club during the season and became Spanish champion again at the end of the season.

Puyol missed the first two league games of the 2010/11 season through injury, but in the following games he was in the starting line-up in almost every match until matchday 20 in mid-January. He then played only four more competitive games until the end of the season, as he was repeatedly suffering from a left knee injury. His team won the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League that season.

In January 2013, his contract was extended until the summer of 2016. On 4 March 2014, Puyol announced that he would terminate his contract at the end of the season for medical reasons and leave the club. In July 2014, he ended his career and joined the club's board of directors. Stay tuned to read more of

Carles Puyol biography

and his international football career.

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Spain National Team

He made his debut with the Spanish national team under the guidance of coach José Antonio Camacho, on 15 November 2000, in the La Cartuja Stadium in


, in a friendly match against the Netherlands football team, in the same match in which Xavi Hernández made his debut. On February 6, 2013, and wearing the captain's armband, he reached 100 internationals, in the match against Uruguay in Doha, Qatar.

Puyol has played with the senior national team in three World Cups (Korea and Japan 2002, Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010), one FIFA Confederations Cup (South Africa 2009) and two European Championships (Portugal 2004 and Austria and Switzerland 2008).

His first major national team tournament was the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, in which he played four matches and in which Spain was eliminated by

South Korea

in the quarterfinals, in a match marked by a controversial refereeing.

The Euro 2004, was his first participation in this continental tournament, in which with Iñaki Sáez as coach, Spain was eliminated in the group stage.

In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, his second participation in the World Cup, he was a starter along with Pablo Ibáñez in the defence, in the four matches played by the national team. After a sensational group phase, with an opening match against


that ended 4-0 and in which Puyol played one of the most spectacular games of his career, which finished with a brilliant assist to Fernando Torres, Spain was eliminated in the round of sixteen against


, which ended up as runner-up in the world.

Euro 2008 was the first great success of this generation of Spanish players, when they were proclaimed European champions on 29 June 2008 in the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna. Puyol played all the matches of that tournament, except for the last match of the group stage against Greece, being the national team already qualified. He was chosen as one of the 23 members of the dream team of the tournament by UEFA.

In 2010, Puyol was part of the Spanish team that was crowned world champion on 11 July 2010 in Johannesburg. The centre-back played all the matches and minutes of the competition, forming the centre of the defence with his FC Barcelona team-mate Gerard Piqué. In the semi-finals on 7 July 2010, he scored a historic header against


, following a corner kick by Xavi Hernández, which would see Spain through to the World Cup final, where they beat the Netherlands 1-0.


On 1 August 2010, he announced his intention to continue with the Spanish team, with the goal of playing in the UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Finally, his participation in the UEFA EURO 2012 ended with a right knee injury.

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Style of Play

Carles Puyol is known for being an intense and committed player in the defence. The club's doctor, Ricard Pruna, described Puyol as "a solid, dynamic player with very good reactions, as well as possessing explosive strength, he is an exceptional athlete". Miguel Ángel Nadal, a former Spanish footballer who played for the club in the 1990s, managed to play with Puyol for a short period at the end of 1999. In a statement, he said: "Carles plays with the necessary maturity, has a great sense of positioning, and above all, is proud to wear the club's shirt".

Puyol is also known for his leadership within the group and for his work ethic. Very often the player continues with his training routine even after the session is over; he also usually trains on his days off. According to sports analysts on ESPN, Puyol is a "complete, passionate and committed player".

They also describe him as a "resilient player who combines sheer strength and a good sense of anticipation". UEFA highlights him as a "well-established footballer, not only because of his physical strength, but also because of his great positioning on the pitch, one of the best defenders on the continent".

In the words of former Italian footballer Franco Baresi, Puyol is one of those defenders who have "the ability to maintain their concentration throughout a game, without hesitation or being distracted at any time, in addition to the intensity they imprint on every action of the game".


For all of his achievements with his club, with the Spanish national team and for his individual honors, Puyol is considered by the press and by various sporting bodies to be one of the best central defenders in history. Likewise, FIFA considers him to be one of the best defenders in the world and in the history of football. In an interview conducted by the Spanish newspaper AS, the former Italian player Franco Baresi (considered to be one of the greatest defenders in history), defined Puyol as an elite player and said that he is one of the best in the world.

Goal Celebration

As a defender, Carles Puyol has not scored many goals during his career (24 goals) and thus we haven’t seen him celebrating goals very much, on the other hand he never had a signature goal celebration and because of that we can’t mention any of his goal celebrations.

Carles Puyol outside Football

After retiring from playing football, Carles Puyol was active on many projects including a social media platform named Olyseum which he co-founded it with his former teammate Andres Iniesta. In September 2019 Barcelona has offered him the job as a sports director, but he rejected it, saying that he is too busy with his personal projects. Stay tuned to read more of

Carles Puyol biography

and his personal life.

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Carles Puyol Personal Life

In this section of

Carles Puyol biography

, we want to take a look at his private life and relationships, so stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

Carles Puyol had a relationship with the Spanish model Malena Costa Sjögren which lasted from July 2010 to October 2011.

In 2012, Carles Puyol began a relationship with Spanish model Vanessa Lorenzo. The couple has two daughters: Manuela (born on 24th January 2014) and Maria (born on 2nd January 2016).

Carles Puyol religion

is said to be Christianity, but according to Thubten Wangchen, Puyol became interested in Tibetan culture and Buddhism after reading the Tibetan Book of the Life and Death of Sogyal Rinpoche, which helped him cope with the death of his father. He wears a tattoo on his left arm that means "Power is in the mind. The strong remain ".

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Carles Puyol is one of the Spanish footballers who always is an active part of charitable works, and we have seen him doing many charity stuff. In one occasion, after being named the captain of 2010 UEFA Team of the Year by user votes, he was given a €100,000 cheque, he then donated the money to International Committee of the Red Cross.

Legal Issues

In top of the list of players who always try to stay outside of trouble you can undoubtedly put Carles Puyol, a player that we weren’t able to find any legal issues to his name on media.

Carles Puyol Career Statistics

In this section of Carles Puyol biography, we will take a look at his career statistics as a player, both on club and international level.


Carles Puyol is one of the few one club footballers to play football at its highest level. Coming out of Barcelona youth ranks to Barcelona B and the first, he played professional football with Barca for 18 seasons. During his time with the club, Carles Puyol managed to play a total of 682 matches in all competitions, and he also scored 24 goals for the club.


Carles Puyol nationality

is Spanish and he played a total of 100 matches for Spanish national team between 2000 and 2013. He has also managed to score 3 goals for

Spain national team

. Maybe the most important of these was the one he scored in the 2010 World Cup semifinal match against Germany which ended in 0-1 to Spain and sent them to the finals match.

Carles Puyol Honors

He is one of the most decorated Spanish footballers both on club and international level. With Barca he has managed to win many titles including La Liga,

Copa del Rey

Supercopa de España

, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

At international level with Spanish national team, Carles Puyol has won many honors which include FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship,

Carles Puyol has also many individual honors including La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year, ESM Team of the Year, UEFA Team of the Year, UEFA Club Best Defender, FIFA/FIFPro World XI, FIFA World Cup Dream Team and many other.

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