Carles Puyol casts his eye over of the form of both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of the two teams’ clash this Saturday in El Clásico. According to the former blaugrana captain, the league table means nothing when these two giants of European Football come together: “Everyone says that Madrid are coming into the game in good form and Barça aren’t, but the standings have nothing to do with it.” He added: “It’s true that Madrid will be more relaxed thanks to their 6 point lead but there is still a long way to in the league and a lot will happen.”
Asked about how to prepare for such a game, Puyol is clear that the most important is to avoid ‘anxiety’. “It’s a game that you get into on its own, so there’s no need for any special preparation,” reveals the former Barça defender. The centre back recalls preparations during Pep Guardiola’s time as coach: “Instead of training more and preparing more, he gave us free time. He wouldn’t let us go to the Ciutat Esportiva so we could switch off a little.”
“If it was up to me, I would still be playing,” Puyol replies when asked about watching top quality games away from the pitch. “I miss the day to day, going to training, competing, my team mates…It’s more difficult to watch games without taking part,” confesses the Catalan. On Saturday, where will Puyol be watching the game?: “At home with my friends, but too many, I like to focus on what’s happening in the game. I hope I can enjoy it and Barça win.”
Carles Puyol has a special place in his heart for the 6-2 Clásico victory in the Santiago Bernabéu in 2009: “It was a spectacular game. For me, it was one of the most special that I played in because of how it went and how the team came back.” Barça felt behind in that game before embarking on an historic comeback. “[Real] Madrid were in great form and they were pulling back points in the table so that victory was the key moment in clinching the first league title under Pep,” recalled the Barça captain from the encounter and one of the goalscorers on that historic afternoon.