Carles Puyol turns 43 today and we believe his birthday deserves acknowledging.
The Barcelona legend was one of the best defenders of his generation.
He left Barca to three Champions League triumphs, six La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies and two UEFA Super Cups during his 15 years at the club.
Like many defenders, he wasn’t the most technically gifted. He wasn’t particularly quick. Wasn’t particularly dominant in the air. But he maximised the ability that he did have.
"I don't have Romário's technique, Marc Overmars' pace or Patrick Kluivert's strength, but I work harder than the others. I'm like the student who is not as clever, but studies for his exams and does okay in the end," Puyol once said.
That work rate and determination was often seen on the football pitch.
The shaggy-haired defender certainly wasn’t afraid to put his head where it hurt and would do anything to win a game of football.
And that elite mentality clearly didn’t stop when he retired.
In fact, the Spaniard showed that very same winning determination during a game of padel back in 2019.
Images of Puyol in 2019 went viral after they showed some shattered glass on a padel court with the centre-back proudly showing off his war wounds as blood dripped down his arm and leg.
What a warrior.
If you don’t know what panel is or you’re struggling to see how someone could crash through a pane of glass while playing the sport, check out the video below.
During the Portugal Padel Masters, Paquito Navarro went through the glass at the back of the court and suffered multiple cuts.
Perhaps they should replace the glass with something a bit less fragile.