Carles Puyol will misses winner-takes-all title match

Carles Puyol will misses winner-takes-all title match

0

Barcelona’s Carles Puyol will miss Saturday’s winner-takes-all title match with Atletico Madrid, meaning the end of his 15-year career at the club.
Barca will retain La Liga if they win but any other result sees Atletico win their first title since 1996. Brazil forward Neymar, who has been out for a month with a foot injury, and Spain defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba are set to return for Barca. Atletico striker Diego Costa will start after a hamstring strain. Puyol, 36, who made his debut in October 1999, has suffered with a persistent knee injury this season. He said: “I have spoken with the coaches and we are playing for a title, so those that are 100% have to play.” Barcelona will snatch the title through a superior head-to-head record should they beat Atletico at the Nou Camp. With Real Madrid out of the race, a draw would be good enough for Atletico to win their first title in 18 years and break a duopoly that has kept the trophy in the hands of either Barca or city rivals Real since 2004. “The work the group has done has been enormous,” said Atletico coach Diego Simeone. “Putting us in a position to reach the last date of the season against the best – it is not easy to repeat. They are there onmerit.” Puyol, who has not played since March, suggested that he may stay with Barcelona in a non-playing capacity rather than take up reported offers from the United States and Qatar. “I could continue with the club, but not as a manager. I don’t see myself as being a manager,” he added at a specially convened news conference attended by team-mates as well as media. “I need to be honest and I couldn’t play for anyone at the moment
because my knee isn’t responding, so I wouldn’t want to kid anyone trying to sign me.” Team-mate Andres Iniesta said that a title victory in the same season that Barcelona had suffered the death of former coach Tito Vilanova, been given a suspended transfer ban and faced fraud charges, would be
sweeter than any of his previous six with the club. “It would be brutal if we manage to win this league on the last day at home,” said Iniesta. “We would celebrate like never before.”  – Yahoo Sports

Share.
Loading...

Comments are closed.