Carles Puyol's brutal tackle on Phil Neville in 6-a-side match

Carles Puyol is without question one of the greatest defenders to have played the game.

The 44-year-old was part of the Barcelona first-team setup for 15 years and achieved an enormous amount of success.

Puyol, who was named captain of the club at the end of the 2003/04 season following Luis Enrique’s retirement, won 18 trophies in total.

The defender was also brilliant for Spain and famously scored the winner in the 2010 World Cup semi-final against Germany, a tournament they went on to win.

What made Puyol such a magnificent footballer was his never-say-die attitude and unwavering commitment to the cause.

Puyol never gave anything less than 100% out on the pitch and that’s part of the reason why so many world-class forwards failed to get the better of him.

However, the no-nonsense Spaniard’s competitive nature was not always a good thing and poor ol’ Phil Neville found out the hard way.

Carles Puyol in action for Barcelona
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 09: Carles Puyol of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou on March 9, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

In 2017, the two came face-to-face at the inaugural Star Sixes tournament, with Puyol’s Spain side defeating England 4-1.

But the Barcelona icon was lucky to remain on the pitch for the entirety of the game, because he was guilty of a horrendous tackle on Neville.

It’s a minor miracle the ex-Manchester United full-back escaped serious injury…

Video: Puyol’s brutal tackle on Neville

Ouch. The fact the referee thought Puyol played the ball rather than Neville’s knee still baffles us to this very day.

Like we said before, Neville thankfully escaped serious injury, although he was not a happy bunny in his post-match interview – which is certainly understandable.

“It’s the worst tackle I’ve ever seen on a football field,” Neville told Sky Sports. “I hope UEFA, FIFA and the FA all have a look at this.

“The thing that upset me more than anything was the referee said he got the ball! Honestly, it was a horrendous tackle.”

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Puyol at least recognised he was massively in the wrong and apologised to Neville through his official Twitter account.

In a reply to footage of the incident, he wrote: “Sorry man!! I hope your knee is fine. I didn’t mean to do it.”

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