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FC Barcelona 2010/11 Season in Review: Carles Puyol

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Report: Carles Puyol had a difficult season. Well, it actually started great for him as he helped Spain win the World Cup in South Africa and captained Barcelona to a fantastic first half of the season. The Puyol-Pique defensive pairing looked unbeatable on many nights. In 19 games they played together, before the injury, they gave up only 10 goals.

But soon after the new year the fortunes started to turn on good ol' Puyi. Knees were never a strong part of Carles' body and this year it was the left knee's turn to act up. The status of the injury was never fully disclosed by neither Puyol or the team, but after two months with no positive news fans were starting to worry if they will see the captain back on the pitch before the season's end.

Puyol did return but he was never fully fit. He made only four appearances after suffering the injury (22 January), three of them against Real Madrid. The fourth one was a six minute appearance in the Champions League final. That game will always be remembered by fans, not only because Barca became European Champions, but also because of the incredible gesture by Puyol to allow Eric Abidal to lift the trophy.

In the beginning of June Puyol underwent surgery to repair the damage on the troublesome left knee. The surgery was successful and he should make a full recovery.

Carles never was and will never be the most talented player on the pitch but every single game, every single play he gives everything he has. He is a leader in every sense of the word and a constant professional.

Moment of the season: In this place I could go with Carles giving the captain's armband to Abidal after the final whistle at Wembley, but I'm keeping that clip for tomorrow when I review Abi's season. For Puyol's moment of the season I chosen the game winning goal he scored against Valencia at the Camp Nou on 16 October. Barca found themselves a goal down at halftime, but after Iniesta scored the equalizer Puyol completed the comeback with a powerful header.

Barcelona Vs Valencia 2-1 - HD Carles Puyol Goal - La Liga BBVA 10-11 - 16/10/2010 (via iAmCarlllBackup)

Stats:

Appearances 27
Games started 25
Started on the bench 10
Substitute in 2
Substitute out 5
Minutes played 2205
Goals scored 1
Assists 0
Shots 5
Shots on goal 2
Fouls committed 19
Fouls suffered 23
Yellow cards 4
Red cards 0

Record with Carles Puyol in the starting lineup: 21-4-0

2011/12 Outlook: Carles is expected to be out for 2-3 months as part of the recovery process after the surgery, meaning he will miss all six preseason games. However, he should be available when the regular season kicks off but time isn't on his side. Whenever Captain Catalunya does come back expect him to lead Barcelona and the help the man that will benefit the most from his return, Gerard Pique, who struggled without his partner.

Next up: Eric Abidal

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