Think of Pep Guardiola’s legendary Barcelona side which dominated Spanish and European football between 2008-2012 and the superstar names roll of the tongue.
Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, David Villa, Gerard Pique, Dani Alves and so on.
However, one player who tends to go under the radar is the club’s talismanic captain at that time, Carles Puyol.
The centre-back, who retired in 2014, was a crucial part of the jigsaw at the Camp Nou.
He wasn’t as talented as some of his teammates – that’s not to say he wasn’t a first-class defender – but he made up for that with his work ethic and leadership qualities.
Puyol led by example on and off the pitch and every member of the dressing room looked up to him – Messi included.
Video of Puyol has gone viral on Twitter
A short compilation video titled ‘Puyol, the perfect captain’ was posted on Twitter on Wednesday and it’s gone viral – racking up over 13,000 retweets and 25,000 ‘likes’.
It features a selection of Puyol’s finest moments, including the time he stopped Alves and Thiago over celebrating when Barcelona were 5-0 up away at Rayo Vallecano, and the time he told Pique to play on and concentrate after he was hit by a lighter thrown by Real Madrid supporters.
What Puyol did after he was slapped was incredible
It also features another wonderful moment when Puyol was slapped by the Mallorca defender Sergio Ballesteros in 2005.
Puyol didn’t react but Ronaldinho, Barcelona’s star man at the time, ran over to confront the defender.
However, Puyol ran over and forcefully stopped the Brazilian from laying his hands on Ballesteros in an act of remarkable sportsmanship.
Watch it here…
They don’t make ‘em like Puyol these days.
Unfortunately, the compilation video also includes the most awkward moment in football history when Puyol went to hand the La Liga trophy to Eric Abidal, who had just recovered from cancer, but Alex Song stepped forward instead.
It still makes us cringe now, five years after it happened!