On this day 1999, a 21-year-old Carles Puyol made his debut for Barcelona’s first team in a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid in La Liga.
Born in La Pobla de Segur in Catalonia, Puyol initially started out as a goalkeeper but persistent back problems forced him to change positions. He then tried his legs at the other end of the pitch, playing as a striker. He joined Barcelona’s acclaimed La Masia academy at the age of 16 where he played as a defensive midfielder and as a right-back, perpetually trying to find his true place on a football pitch.
In 1998, with Puyol way down the pecking order at the Nou Camp, Barca accepted an offer from Malaga to offload him. At the same time, his best friend Xavi was handed his first team debut by Louis van Gaal. Always an assiduous fighter, Puyol refused to leave and vowed to improve himself further to play for the club he supported all his life.
Van Gaal promoted him to the first team squad and by 2004, Puyol was captaining Barcelona. This coincided with one of the most successful periods in the club’s history. During his 15-year Barca career, ten as captain, the Catalonians won 21 honours including six La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League trophies.
Dees on the run!
On this day in 2010, Dundee beat Greenock Morton 2-1 to go on an unbeaten streak of 23 games. The Dees were seventh on the Scottish Division One table when they faced Morton, and quite remarkably were still in that position at the end of their impressive unbeaten run that included 14 wins and nine draws.
They finished the season at sixth.