Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Puyol: I want to retire on the pitch

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is still hoping to reach 100 appearances for Spain despite acknowledging he is almost certain to miss this summer's European Championships due to a knee problem. Barcelona announced yesterday that Puyol will undergo an arthroscopy on 12 May after feeling discomfort in his right knee following Saturday's 4-0 defeat of Espanyol and that is set to sideline the centre-back for around six weeks.
That means the 34-year-old is definitely out of Barça's final La Liga game at Real Betis at the weekend and he will also miss coach Pep Guardiola's last game in charge - the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on 25 May. His participation at Euro 2012 is also extremely doubtful with Spain opening their campaign against Italy on 10 June before going on to play the Republic of Ireland and Croatia in Group C.
Speaking in a report Puyol said: "My plan right now is only to undergo the operation and recover as soon as possible. I'm sure that things are going to turn out well and very soon I will be back playing again.
"I don't know if it was my last European Championship but I do know that I want to retire on the pitch and not on the operating table. I'm only thinking about recovering and returning to 100 per cent. If then I can return to play with the national team I would love to reach that number (hundred caps)."
When he was asked about the possibility of him going to Ukraine and Poland as part of Spain’s squad this summer, he said:
"I would love to but it looks very difficult. I have to wait and see what the doctors find, but I think that it's impossible.
"There will be players in better condition than me to play. Those who are best are the ones who have to go. It would be unfair on the other players. In Spain, there are good centre-backs and we don't have to worry about anything."

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