Carles Puyol is pleased with the results of this afternoon’s Champions League draw, which paired FC Barcelona up with Benfica, Spartak Moscow and Celtic FC. “We’re favourites, we can be happy with the draw,” said Puyol optimistically, but he also warned that “it won’t be easy. You pay dearly for any errors or overconfidence in the Champions League, we respect all of our rivals.”
Puyol congratulates Iniesta
Before this afternoon’s press conference, the captain closely followed the events in Monaco. In addition to talking about the draw, Puyol congratulated his team-mate Andrés Iniesta for winning the UEFA BestPlayerinEuropeAward: “he deserves it and I’m very happy for him. He’s worked so hard to be where he is. Your rewarded for doing your job well.” The Azulgrana also said that “all three finalists deserved to win the prize, all three of them are impressive players,” but he noted that Spain’s Euro victory probably tipped the scales in Iniesta’s favour.
Recovering from injury
Puyol also talked about the cheekbone fracture that kept him off the pitch in the return leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Bernabéu. “Beyond my fractured cheekbone, I also have issues with my lower back. It's overworked,” he said. He doesn’t know if he’ll be available to play on Sunday against Valencia: “I was willing to play at the Bernabéu, but when I got up the morning before the game I wasn’t feeling well. Pain was going down my left arm and it was better that I didn’t play. I still have that feeling and we’ll have to wait.”
“We won’t give up”
On yesterday’s match, Puyol believes that there were “two distinct games”: “Madrid started off strong. We knew that they would pressure us high up the pitch. They scored two early goals but we never gave up. They have a well-defined style of play, which hinges on defending well and counterattacking. However, I’m sticking with how we reacted.”