Look up ‘leader’ in the dictionary and you will find a picture of Carles Puyol with his long, shaggy hair.
Forget the six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, World Cup and European Championship. Or the 593 appearances for Barcelona.
Remembered as ‘The Wall’ at the Nou Camp, the legendary Spain defender represented a dying breed of no-nonsense.
With hair in his eyes and heart on his sleeve, Puyol played with the rugged aggression of the hardest-working kid in P.E.
Watching him was to be convinced his life depended on every match, every tackle, and every order.
But his iconic Barca career so nearly ended before it began, back in 1998.
The Spanish giants, unconvinced by Puyol after three years in their famous La Masia academy, accepted an offer from Malaga for the then 20-year-old.
You don’t just sell Puyol, though.
Not content with failure and driven by a fierce sense of loyalty, the Spaniard refused to leave – and good luck making him.
The following season, Louis van Gaal promoted Puyol to the first team, where he made the first of 392 La Liga appearances on October 2, 1999.
In 2004, ‘Captain Caveman’ was born, and the newly-converted central defender from right-back would lead an unprecedented era of success in Catalonia.
You would never know his career was plagued with injuries, because Puyol persevered, but six operations as a professional eventually took their toll in 2014, forcing an early retirement aged 36.
As time went on, his pace waned, but like all the great defenders throughout history, Puyol didn’t need it.
He said in 2010: “I don’t have Romário’s technique, [Marc] Overmars’ pace or [Patrick] Kluivert’s strength. But I work harder than the others.
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“I’m like the student who is not as clever, but revises for his exams and does OK in the end.”
His unmatched pride and commitment was so strong it earned a place in one of the greatest ever Barcelona teams, as one of the first names on the team sheet, despite being below the technical level of his teammates.
Here was a man, after all, who shared a dressing room with Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.
That love for his club and passion for the captaincy was never clearer than when he kissed the Catalan flag in front of an incensed Bernabeu after rounding off a 6-2 victory over Real Madrid in 2009.
For the most part, though, Puyol played hard but fair, upholding the values of sportsmanship and understanding his responsibility as one of football’s moral bastions.
The skipper stepped in to stop the choreographed dancing of Dani Alves and Thiago during a thrashing of Rayo Vallecano in 2012, reminding the pair to show some respect to the opposition.
A year earlier in 2011, Puyol had stepped aside to let Eric Abidal, who had recently recovered from surgery to remove a tumour, lift the Champions League trophy first.
That was also the year he paid €30,000 to help fund specialist private treatment for Miki Roque, a footballer from his home province suffering from pelvic cancer.
A class act both on and off the pitch, football rained blessings down upon Puyol, rewarding him as one of the most decorated footballers in history.
Simply put, they don’t make them like him anymore.