Barcelona’s director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta, told ‘Catalunya Radio’ that Carles Puyol had asked him to “be quick in signing a new centre-back”.
Zubi is conscious that he has his work cut out to replace Puyol and Víctor Valdés at the end of the season, stating that the squad will require “more than tweaks”. Nevertheless, he stressed that he doesn’t believe in “major upheavals or minuscule changes”.
The former goalkeeper added that Puyol’s “character” illustrates the fact that “players can’t be chosen based solely on their physical abilities”.
Zubizarreta also played down the significance of coach Tata Martino not being present at the press conference at which the club captain announced his departure. He explained that the defender had asked to speak “alone” and that Tata had “respected that decision and carried on working”, though Puyol’s profile ended up meaning that several other people congregated when he faced the media.
The ‘Azulgranas’ director of football admitted that Barça had been “counting on” Puyol recovering and returning to regular action, before adding that “he’s earned the right to decide his future”.