Carles Puyol will be staying at Barcelona after being appointed as an assistant to the sports management team at the Nou Camp.
The 36-year-old retired at the end of the season due to a spell of persistent knee problems following 15 years at the heart of a defence which won 21 trophies including six Spanish league tittles and three UEFA Champions League triumphs. The former centre-half stated during his retirement press conference that he was eager to stay at the club and he has now got his wish with a role in the football department, headed by Andoni Zubizarreta.
"I want to thank FC Barcelona for all that it has given me before and for this chance that has arisen now," he told the club's official website. "I will try to the very best I can, and especially to learn a lot. I have always played football and tried to do so as well as possible, and I'll be doing the same with this. Now I need some time to rest and continue treatment on my knee, but I am really looking forward to it. I am very excited about this new stage of my life."
Zubizarreta was excited to welcome Puyol to a role that will revolve more around off-pitch activities than involvement with the first team.
"Puyol is joining the football department and we will be seeking to exploit and learn from all of his experience," he said. "We also want people to realise how much he knows. He will be an assistant to the sports management, so he'll be working with me on club projects, both internally and externally. We'll be working in more external areas like marketing and finance, and in the technical secretary area.
"I am sure I'll learn a lot from him. We'll have him close to all the teams, it's a unique opportunity. A couple of years ago we spoke about what would be best for him and I'm sure he'll come to realise that is what he'll enjoy the most."