Saturday, October 2, 2010

2 October 1999 - The Shaggy DF

On 2 October 1999, 21-year old Barcelona defender Carles Puyol made his first-team debut in a 2-0 win at Real Valladolid. Since then, Puyol has made almost 500 appearances for the senior side and has captained them to several honors, including four La Liga titles and two UEFA Champions League trophies.

Easily recognized by his long curly hair, Puyol started his career in 1993 with the Pobla de Segur junior squad, but moved to Barça's youth academy in 1995, then to their B squad in 1997. He originally joined the Catalan squad as a defensive midfielder, but switched to right back, then to center back. He was named captain at the end of the 2003-04 season. The move coincided with Barça's return to glory, as the following season, he led the team to their first La Liga title in six years. Then, in 2005-06, they won the league and the Champions League.

In total, Puyol has won four La Liga titles, two Champions League trophies, one Spanish Cup, four Spanish Supercups, one UEFA Supercup, and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 2010, he won the FIFA World Cup with Spain.

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