18 April 2012

Terry and Puyol, club captains and icons

John Terry and Carles Puyol cross paths once again on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge after following almost parallel lives.

Chelsea and Barça have plenty of experience in their defences. And at the heart of one and the other are John Terry and Carles Puyol. Both are captains, both have a wealth of experience and both have experienced similar careers. The Englishman is 31 years old and the Catalan is 34, and both grew up through the youth systems at their respective clubs and are considered living legends by their supporters, who have been enjoying the two stars since 1998 and 1999 respectively.

Terry and Puyol have captained Chelsea and Barça since 2004/05. Both have played more than 500 official games for the clubs where they have spent their entire professional careers. The Londoner, although a midfielder in his formative years, has always been a centre back since turning pro. But Puyol started out as a striker, joined the first team as a right back and has now consolidated his role as centre back. Both have strong personalities, are strong in the air and generally respect fair play (Terry has been sent off just four times and Puyol only twice).

Both players are also regulars with their international teams and have had to overcome serious injuries. John Terry had a back operation in 2007 and Puyol underwent knee surgery last summer.

During his illustrious career, Terry has been named Best Defender in the Champions League three times (2005, 2008 and 2009) and Puyol once (2006). The former’s eleven titles are an all-time Chelsea record, while Puyol has 18 winners medals, including three for the Champions League. Both have played central roles in the four home and away encounters between the Blues and Barça in the last seven years, and will be relishing the opportunity to meet again on Wednesday evening. (via FCBarcelona.com)