The shaggy-haired icon won it all with Barcelona and Spain, but eventually it was knee trouble that lead Carles Puyol to call time on his illustrious career at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Fifteen years in the Barcelona first-team, captain for two-thirds of that time, whilealso amassing a marvellous haul of team and individual honours, in May 2014 he was surrounded by family, friends and team-mates as he emotionally announced it was time to hang up his boots.
Two major knee operations and difficulties recovering his fitness forcing an admission - covered by the Daily Mail - that he wasn't able to meet the demands of playing with Barcelona any longer, with the declaration: "I've lived the dream of so many youngsters, doing what I enjoy most in life; playing football and training."
After that, and for a brief period, Puyol maintained his links with the Catalan club, working as an assistant to Andoni Zubizarreta. However, following a period of boardroom upheaval that lead to Zubizarreta being sacked, Puyol announced in January 2015 that he too was leaving.
Since then, Puyol has been recovering his fitness and training hard, with friends of the former player saying he's "like Tarzan" in the gym. According to Mundo Deportivo, there's a good reason for his efforts.
With his knee in much better shape now, Puyol is considering making a surprise return to playing, with MLS teams in New York, the home of his partner Vanesa Lorenzo, prepared to open doors for him. There's also interest in Qatar, given that his former colleague Xavi Hernandez has recently secured a move there this summer.