Puyol delays decision on future until after final

Potchefstroom: Veteran
defender Carles Puyol, whose headed goal took Spain into the
World Cup final, will make a decision on his international
future after Sunday`s title showdown with Holland.

"What faces us is beautiful and after that will be the
time to think," the 32-year-old Puyol said Thursday.

"No decision has been made. I will talk about it with the
coach Vicente Del Bosque and the sporting director (Fernando
Hierro) after the final."

Barcelona star Puyol made his international debut in 2000
against the Dutch in a friendly and on Sunday will be winning
his 90th cap.

Puyol`s powerful header from a pinpoint Xavi cross 17
minutes from time in the semi-final on Wednesday was enough to
steer European champions Spain to a 1-0 win against Germany
and a place in a first World Cup final.

He had come close in the first half of the Durban clash,
but his header sailed over the crossbar.

"I haven`t scored many goals so this one was very
important. I`m happy for the team to be in the final, we
deserve to be there," said Puyol.

"I had talked about the move with Xavi and to put the
ball near to the penalty spot. In the first half it didn`t
work, but in the second Xavi was right on target. It was a
moment to treasure, even more so because I`m not in the habit
of scoring goals.”

"Everything went by so quickly and we knew that if kept
our shape, we could reach the final. We know how important
this is for Spanish football. I hope that on Sunday I can
score another important goal like this one."

Spain and Holland have yet to win a World Cup final
although the Dutch have been runners-up on two occasions.

Both sides like to play a tight, stylish passing game
with patience the key to moving forward.

Puyol believes it will be an open final on Sunday.

"Both teams like to play football, both have very
talented players," said the defender, who has seen his team
grow in confidence since losing their opening group game to

"We were favourites at the start of the the tournament
and when we lost the first game it was seen as a disaster.”

"We didn`t play badly. We got through the first round and
have grown in confidence. On Wednesday, against Germany, we
played our best match.”

"We approach the final with desire and respect. Both
teams can produce an attractive final, we both deserve to be

Bureau Report


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