BARCELONA

Puyol: "If there's one team which can win the lot, it's Barça"

The ex-skipper also lauded Leo Messi: "He does things with the ball which no one can. I'm convinced that he's the best player in history".

Carles Puyol, exjugador del Barcelona.
YANN COATSALIOU AFP

Celtic - Barcelona en directo

Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol says that if there is one club which can win a clean sweep of trophies this season, it's his old club and also praised the coaches who did so much for him during his playing career - Pep Guardiola, Luis Aragonés and Vicente Del Bosque.

"If there is one team that can win the lot, it's Barcelona. To win the league you need consistency but tio win the Copa del Rey and the Champions League you need something more - if you have a bad day, you can find yourself eliminated", Puyol told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Puyol also said that he can see Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue as the leading lights in LaLiga for years to come.

Right mentality

"Messi does things with the ball which no one can. I am convinced that he's the best player in the history of the game. Both Messi and Cristiano have got the right mentality, they have a real passion for football. New players will come along, but they'll still be the main protagonists during the next few years", he said.

The ex-Barcelona and Spain centre-back admitted that he wouldn't have been half as successful as he was as a player if it wasn't for the guidance he received from coaches like Louis van Gaal, Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, Luis Aragonés and Vicente del Bosque.

"For a start I have to mention Van Gaal, I made my debut under him in 1999. I'll always be grateful to him for that. Guardiola is the best manager in the world, he brought out the very best of my characteristics and vastly improved me as a player", he said. "Rijkaard changed the way I thought about things, he would openly share all of his knowledge and gifted everything he knew to the team. I won big things with him - two leagues, the Spanish Supercup and the Champions League in 2006".

One club

The 38-year-old says he is still in touch with all of his "great friends" at his old club. "Barcelona is the team which I carry with me in my heart. It was my home for 19 years. Before becoming team mates, many of my colleague were great friends - Luis Enrique, Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Abidal. I see them at a lot of events, and it's always great to see them", he said.

Puyi says he never once considered leaving Barcelona "but if I had to leave, I would have chosen to join AC Milan".