2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™

11 June - 11 July

2010 FIFA World Cup™

Puyol: Lifting that trophy was spectacular

  • Puyol watched himself in FIFA World Cup action
  • He juxtaposed his outrageous 360º turn with Zidane’s
  • He discussed scoring at the wrong and right end for Spain

Carles Puyol had one of the most emotional experiences of his career with Spain’s 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in the Final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

After seven exhausting games, a solitary strike from Andres Iniesta on a cold evening in Johannesburg secured the coveted title, allowing Spain and Puyol to lay to rest eight years of frustration in the competition. From his maiden tournament appearance at Korea/Japan 2002, where he scored an own-goal against Paraguay, to the painful elimination at the hands of France in 2006, World Cup success had proved maddeningly elusive for the central defender and his compatriots.

FIFA.com asked the former Barcelona stalwart to look back on five moments of personal significance from his World Cup adventures. These include frustrations, goals, a roulette move Zinedine Zidane would have been proud of, and his encounters with the trophy itself. 

“So, was it Puyol or Zidane?” the Catalonian was asked as he watched footage of his breathtaking 360º turn at Germany 2006, which left a Ukrainian on his backside and helped Fernando Torres make it 4-0.

“No, no,” said Puyol, grinning. “I wish I had his skills. But I must say that I had done the move in training session and in my hometown, where I used to play. It was useful and came naturally, but I must say that I didn’t do it as elegantly as Zidane. Not even close.”

As the footage forwarded to his thumping header – the only goal – against Germany in the 2010 semi-finals, Puyol remarked: “A unique moment. Not only because of the goal, which was important, but the game as well. It meant qualification for the Final, and it was probably our best game in that World Cup against a very strong team.”

Puyol was evidently thrilled at witnessing himself holding the Trophy at Soccer City. “That was a spectacular moment too,” he said. “It was great to finish the World Cup as champions, as part of a group that had worked so hard. We really deserved it.

“I was also pleased for Andres. He went through difficult times due to different injuries, but never gave up. He worked hard and, in the end, had his reward. He truly deserved it.”

To hear more about those moments, and what he had to say about scoring an own-goal at Korea/Japan 2002 and worrying about making a fool himself during the Brazil 2014 Final, simply watch the video above.

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