The success story of FC Barcelona and Spain’s national teams will not be complete without worthy mentions of the contributions of a responsible leader, legend and consummate professional Carles Puyol.
An uncompromising and passionate defender in his playing days, Puyol symbolised the hunger for success in Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola’s teams as well as in the La Roja’s successes at the Euros in 2008 and World Cup in 2010.
As successful as he might have been on the pitch, one thing was always missing for him though – the responsibility on the home front. As much as he led conquerors on the pitch, same could not be said on the family front of El Capitano.
Puyol has two daughters with his partner Vanesa Lorenzo, a model, author and yoga expert. He says that since his retirement in 2014, he has been able to really appreciate family life.
“It is true that for my whole career, except the last few months, I was not a father,” he says.
“Now, that I have children, not playing football means I get a chance to enjoy my daughters.”
He still keeps busy professionally though, travelling the world to communicate the values he learned during his time as a player.
“I am focused a lot now on my personal brand,” Puyol says. “I travel all over the world as an official LaLiga ambassador and I also work with UEFA, FIFA, Laureus, give speeches at conferences and work in partnership with some brands.”
The same commitment which Puyol put into almost 600 games for Barça over fifteen (15) seasons with the first team is now channelled into helping drive positive social change.
“The power which football has is enormous,” Puyol says.
“Football moves the masses. Those of us involved in football must be aware of the power we have to help. We also have a responsibility to return to society all that society has given to us.”
Courtesy: LaLiga Nigeria Office (additional notes by Fisayo Dairo)