The man who scouted Carles Puyol and convinced then Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal to play him has spoken of his sadness at the club legend’s departure from the Nou Camp.
Joan Martinez Vilaseca was the man that discovered Puyol when he was playing in the local Catalonia leagues at the age of 17.
And the Spanish legend has often described the scout as one of the most important influences in his footballing career.
But their connection doesn’t stop there – when a 20-year-old Puyol was on the verge of leaving the Catalan giants for La Liga rivals Malaga it was Vilaseca who fought to keep him at the club.
Vilaseca was also a vital component in the development of Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Gerard Pique, Guillermo Amor, Mikel Arteta and Thiago Alcantara.
Turbulent times at Barcelona
Now that Puyol has confirmed his exit from the club he represented for nearly two decades the man that discovered him has spoken of his sadness.
Describing Puyol’s departure as sporting director Vilaseca as a 'great shame' he also admitted: ”from the outside, it seems that the club has struck upon times of great confusion.”