Puyol, in his debut game against Valladolid. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Carles Puyol made his official debut with FC Barcelona fifteen years ago today – on October 2, 1999. The game was a league game away to Valladolid and coach Louis van Gaal brought him on at right back  as a sub  for Simao on 56 minutes.

Puyol forced his way into the side as a strong, speedy character and performances such as his man marking of Figo in 2000 or his famous block with the Club badge in 2002.

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Puyol took the captain’s armband in 2004 after a difficult period for the team and he then went on to lift more titles than any other Club captain  - 6 Leagues, 3 Champions Leagues, 2 Copes, 2 World Club Cups, 2 European and 6 Spanish Super Cups in all.

Having switched to centre back, Puyol was widely recognised as one of the world’s top defenders and admiration for him continued to grow with gestures such as allowing Eric Abidal to lift the European Cup.

With injuries taking their toll over the last few seasons, Carles Puyol decided to hang up his boots at the end of the last campaign, after 14 years service in the first team. With 593 appearances only Xavi has played more games for the Club and his 18 goals included many memorable moments, such as his goal in the 2-6 win at the Bernabeu.

Since September 2014, Puyol has worked as an assistant to the Sporting Director.

 Video: Carles Puyol: Farewell to a great captain

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