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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020

Puyol seeks spark from Guardiola shock

Spain defender says the Camp Nou squad want to reel in Madrid and take the Primera Division title for Guardiola.

Carles Puyol:
Carles Puyol:
Image: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

BARCELONA DEFENDER Carles Puyol says coach Pep Guardiola’s shock decision to leave at season’s end will inspire the Catalan outfit to success.

Guardiola, 41, announced on Friday the demands of leading the La Liga giants had become too much, with assistant coach Tito Vilanova to take over.

Speaking ahead of his team’s trip to Rayo Vallecano today, Puyol said his side were even more inspired in their bid to catch rivals Real Madrid, who are seven points clear at the top.

“We have seen him (Guardiola) working. Even now after announcing he is leaving, he goes about in the same way, with the same attitude and the same aim,” Puyol said. ”We are going to try to go on as we always do, go for the win and try to win every match. There is still a title on stake, a very beautiful match ahead.

“And that one is going to be the coach’s farewell. There’s a great motivation to win the title but it is even more now as we want to win it for him.”

Puyol also praised the decision to appoint Vilanova as Guardiola’s successor, and said he expected Barca to play a similar passing style under the 42-year-old.

“As a coach he knows a lot about football and, as I said before, he knows this team perfectly, he has been working shoulder to shoulder with Pep,” Puyol said.  ”So it is going to be more or less the same. He has his points of view but the philosophy and the idea will be the same.”

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