At the heart of the Barcelona defence you will find team captain Carles Puyol. At Barcelona since 1995 Puyol has enjoyed an illustrious career with both his club side and internationally with Spain. Puyol was born 13 April, 1978 and started his football career for a local club in his town of birth, La Pobla de Segur. Initially he played as a goalkeeper before a shoulder injury forced a switch to the outfield where he played striker for a period of time. Puyol's talents were identified in 1995 when he was bought in to Barcelona's youth set up.
From there Puyol rose through the various ranks at Barcelona until he made his debut for the first team in a match against Real Valladolid on 2nd October 1999. Known for his strong tackling ability, strength and aerial abilities the defender has amassed over 350 games for the Barcelona senior side. During this time he has collected five Spanish League trophies, three UEFA Champions League titles, and two FIFA Club World Cup trophies amongst many other Spanish titles.
A key member of Spain's national team, Puyol led his side to the ultimate prize of them all in 2010, the FIFA World Cup. Playing in every game the defender used his strong aerial abilities to head home the only goal in Spain's semi-final win over Germany.
Respected as one of the best & most versatile defenders in the world, Puyol has won numerous individual accolades including; being named in the UEFA team of the year on six separate occasions, FIFA team of the year three times and was also named in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team of 2010.