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Carles Puyol: I rejected Real Madrid twice

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The former captain says he got two firm offers to join Madrid

Real Madrid v Barcelona - Copa del Rey Final Photo by Miguel Ruiz/FC Barcelona via Getty Images

Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has revealed that he was twice approached to join Real Madrid, in an interview with TV3. Puyol is a legendary figure for Barça, having served as captain for the longest time anyone ever has (2004-14), so it would have been quite a shock had he agreed the move.

“Two times they wanted to sign me, but I already was in the best club in the world, and I wanted to win titles with Barça, and that’s why I stayed,” the former defender said.

He says the first time los blancos approached him was in 2001, after Puyol played against Luís Figo in Real Madrid colors for the first time since his transfer from Barcelona in 2000.

The second time came three years later.

“José Antonio Camacho signed [as manager] for Madrid, and they wanted me and Ronaldinho” for the 2004-05 season.

Puyol would win his first La Liga title that campaign

“Even more than the World Cup, the title I felt the most for was the UEFA Champions League win in Paris, in 2005, because it was with Barça, which is what I feel the most.”

Puyol also spoke about his famous goal in Barça’s 6-2 victory in el clásico, which he celebrated by kissing his captain’s armband.

“That celebration in the goal at the Bernabéu comes from inside, and although I scored few goals, I thought if I did score, I had to celebrate it in that way.”

Puyol also may have dropped a hint about his future, asking speculatively, “do you imagine Gerard Piqué as president, Xavi as manager, and me as sporting director? Do you think we’d do a good job?”