Barcelona chasing trophies for ‘legend’ Puyol, claims Iniesta

Andy Lewis 17:08 06/03/2014
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Legendary figures: Iniesta and Puyol have spent their entire careers playing for Barcelona.

Andres Iniesta says Carles Puyol's impending departure has galvanised the Barcelona squad as they chase glory on three fronts.

Veteran defender Puyol announced this week that he will leave the club at the end of the season following an injury-ravaged final chapter to his 15-year Nou Camp career.

Iniesta, who was speaking at the launch of the new Nike Magista boot, admits the news has deeply affected the Blaugrana squad, who sit one point adrift of leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga standings.

But with just 12 games to go – and an enormous El Clasico at the Bernabeu later this month – Iniesta says they are now determined to ensure Puyol leaves the club a champion.

And with a Copa del Rey final against Real on April 16, as well as a Champions League last 16, second leg, against Manchester City next Wednesday – Barca are still very much in the mix for what could be a memorable treble.

"First you have to say that this news (of Puyol's decision) is something that is not very pleasant," said Iniesta. "Both in the sense of firstly him as a player, and secondly also him as a person.

"So we will try and finish the season as strongly as possible, so he can finish with great success. He deserves that because nobody represents Barcelona as much as he does."

Success in Europe would be a particularly lavish send off for Puyol, who made his first team debut back in 1999, and would dearly love to add to his tally of three Champions League titles with the club.

But despite Barca holding a 2-0 lead from their first leg victory over City, Iniesta insists nobody at the club is taking a spot in the quarter-finals for granted.

"We still have a very tough 90 minutes to come against a very difficult rival with very good players," he added. "We have to perform with total focus and play a perfect game with no mistakes."

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