Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/6/14
Barcelona F.C.’s Puyol announced he will retire at the end of the seasonCarles Puyol Barcelona F.C. revives against Almeria, displaying a more aggressive and intelligent style of play. The team managed to beat Almeria by 4 goals to 1, taking advantage of the draw between Real Madrid and Atletico and clinching the second place, one point away from the first. Puyol announces to retire on June Carles Puyol was the big surprise of the line-up, he hadn’t played at all in the new year and due to the recent negative performances of the defense, his return was more than needed. Puyol not only scored one of the 4 goals but also played a crucial role organizing the defensive line, with Javier Masherano as the second center-back, Alves and Adriano as the full-backs. Puyol has played an immense part in Barcelona and in the Spanish national team, he is now hanging up the boots at the end of the season, and it will be a great loss for the world of soccer. His leadership, character, and sportsmanship will be remembered and eventually will be made an example of. Puyol will be thought of as one of the best leaders who managed to win it all in his career, not the most skillful players, but definitely the one with the most heart. Aftermath Mascherano is the best central defender that Barcelona currently has, he is at his best shape and form, he has taken the role of the leader in the team, and he has continued to fix and clean all the errors by the other defenders. This doesn’t mean that he is the best central defender in the world, Barcelona needs to buy a central defender as soon as possible, and they have to make sure he will be the perfect fit. Puyol’s career is starting to come to an end, Pique’s form also deteriorated and seems lost without Puyol, and Marc Bartra, although young, hasn’t shown anything that can make him a starter. Xavi and Messi had great performances, they both managed to score along with Sanchez and Puyol, and they managed to create productivity in the attack. Messi showed once again that his free-kick shooting ability is intact, but most importantly he showed that he is getting closer to be in his best form, playing either as an attacking midfielder or as a striker. Alexis Sanchez is probably the player with the best form on the squad, since Martino arrived to the club Sanchez has been his to-go man. Sanchez has finally adapted 100 percent to the team, he has shown total devotion to the squad, and has taken over the right-wing position. Sanchez has the most goals in the team this season with 16, he has scored many crucial goals, but more importantly he has learned how to play for a team.  The Sanchez we are seeing this season is fast, accurate, and smart, he is now making runs and clearing the path for the other attackers, which also opens space for him to receive. What can we predict the future will be for this Barcelona squad? Can Barcelona survive with out Puyol? Who is the best replacement? isportsweb | isportsweb - Sports in Perspective
PLAYERS: Carles Puyol
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