The Capitan! The emblem. The myth. The top reference of Barça. Model player. He is an example of honesty, leadership, strength, determination and character. Commitment! Loy-alty! Integrity! Warrior. Gladiator. Professional as any. Effort, hard work and honesty, his greatest virtues. The list of adjectives and virtues is absolutely endless. This is how his teammates, coaches, fans and rivals describe him.
These words certainly explain how a humble kid born in La Pobla de Segur, a town of 2,500 inhabitants in the mountains of Catalonia, with no football tradition and with more en-thusiasm that talent, grew to become one of the greatest players in football history.
As Joan Martínez Vilaseca, his first coach, recalls, “It was the longest try-out to join the Masía. I had never seen someone so eager to play football. More remarkable for his phys-ical conditions that his technique!!! He had something different and also had the desire to conquer the world:” Only 1% of the players make it to the team! Many, with enormous tal-ent end up giving up. Clearly talent is not enough to make it to the big leagues.
In the beginning he wanted to be a goalkeeper until a back injury forced him to change. So he became a striker, and being regarded as “The Romario from La Pobla”. Arriving at Barça an opportunity arose to become a right wing-back. He finished his career as one of the best central defenders in history. Clearly the position was not important for Puyol. He could be flexible in the way but totally inflexible on the objective. The goal for Puyol was not simply playing or making money. His dream was to succeed at Barça.
In the farewell tribute, Canal+ said: “His life has been linked to FC Barcelona. He came as a teenager. He leaves as the best captain in Barça’s history and the one who has raised most titles, 21. But Carles Puyol is much more than that. He is a way of doing things. Integ-rity, loyalty, effort, kindness. Each of his acts was an example for his teammates, oppo-nents and fans. This would explain the program´s title: Puyol, more than a captain!!!
In a world where the “reality shows” have distorted reality, Carles Puyol´s life reminds us that success is not something that suddenly shows up overnight. It is always the result of years of effort and sacrifice and it’s always the result of a huge passion. Success without work simply is not possible.
“You can be the best in history.... or just a good player. It´s up to you! I wish I´d had the tal-ent! Instead of talent, I have a huge passion for work!!! These words of Puyol splendidly summarize his philosophy in life.
He retired from football as great men do, leaving behind his example and an indelible lega-cy. Now, in his new role as speaker, after preparing himself with absolute rigor and being coached by the best professionals, as he did in his playing days, he shares exiting stories and wonderful insights.
Football, one of the most competitive sports in the world, and Carles Puyol, one of the most disciplined professionals in history, allow us to rescue the lessons from the world of sport to the world of business.