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Carles Puyol and Barca agree to cut ties after season, further opening door for NYCFC

Mar 4, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

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Injury-ravaged Carles Puyol has reached an agreement with Barcelona to sever his contract at the end of the season, opened the door for more speculation as to whether he could be headed for Major League Soccer… or retirement.

Puyol said doesn’t know what the future holds… other than a summer of rest. If New York City FC really was a destination for him to begin a new chapter, the idea of Puyol getting an extended “offseason” to prepare for his maiden voyage in the United States’ top flight may just be the tonic. Again, reports have said they want him to be their first Designated Player when they begin play in 2015.

But his quotes don’t exactly give much to go on, as he sounds like a beaten-up man who hopes to take the pitch at least once more for his beloved Barca.

“After the last two operations it has been difficult for me to recover the level I need to be able to continue here, more than I expected. That is why I have taken this decision.

“There are three months of the season left and I won’t be giving up.”

“I don’t know what I will do after 30 June, but I’m sure that in the summer I will rest.

“I would like to have a news conference at the end of the season to say a proper goodbye after a total of 19 years at the club.”

So perhaps he’s done, reaching the end of a long and storied career as one of the top backs in the history of the game. Knee injuries aren’t to be trifled with at any age, and they are even more problematic for a man about to turn 36 in April and who has had a very physical career.

  1. dfstell - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Doesn’t seem like the best fit, but what do I know… I’m not sure that using DP slots on centerbacks is ever a great idea because it seems like you can always get decent center backs without spending that type of money AND tying up a DP slot.

    Plus…he has been hurt an awful lot and is old.

  2. lavatomy - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Reports out of Spain are linking him to Qatar, China and MLS.

    As many strides as MLS has made the rest of the world still sees our league on par with the other leagues mentioned above. I still think MLS should try to enter a South American cup competition, beat some teams and get some respect, that’s how Mexican teams got their respect from the region.

    • hughmauberley - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      Or they could win the Concacaf Champions League.

      • lavatomy - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Unfortunately that wouldn’t mean much in the international stage. Think about the club that wins the African Champions League or the Asian Champions League. I’m not saying these are weak teams but in general their leagues aren’t very highly regarded. Same is thought of the CONCACAF region.

        Just my personal opinion that MLS will not be seen as one of the best leagues in the world unless they get results against teams like Boca Juniors or Santos in meaningful games but I do agree that winning the CONCACAF CL would be a nice start.

  3. heelfans - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Just can’t see Carles playing anywhere but Barca. Definitely not MLS nor China. He needs to leave the pitch as a champion.

  4. Tim - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    One of the great defenders. He’ll be missed for sure.

  5. Ralph - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Given his age and physical state you have to wonder if NYCFC wouldn’t be better served by signing the REAL Sarah Jessica Parker instead…she may have more footballing ability at this point.

  6. unclemosesgreen - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    His comments sound more like retirement talk than anything.

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