In the third of our series looking at the players who inspired our boys in blue, we turn our attentions to NYCFC defender Ethan White.
Jack Harrison chose Ronaldinho, while Khiry Shelton went for Thierry Henry… Ethan’s pick has one thing in common with both.
Yes, it’s the FC Barcelona connection as White has chosen one of the greatest defenders of his generation, Carles Puyol…
Ethan on Puyol
“My brother inspired me to get into the sport initially but once I started watching it regularly, it was Carlos Puyol for me.
“The way he played with such passion and heart – he’d do anything for a win. I tried to model myself on the way he plays in that he’s very athletic, passionate about the game and I feel I’m the same way.”
Carles Puyol: El Tiburon
A World and European champion with Spain and a three-time UEFA Champions League winner with FC Barcelona, Puyol is one of the most decorated defenders of all-time.
Carles was a bedrock in the back four of Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Catalan juggernaut, winning six La Liga titles and the FIFA World Club Cup twice, thanks, in no small part, to his athleticism and reading of the game.
There aren’t too many “one club men” left in the game but Puyol was that, enjoying 20 years at the Camp Nou, rising through the youth ranks to make more than 600 appearances in the famous red and blue.
At international level, Puyol’s partnership with Gerard Pique-inspired Los Rojos to win the World Cup in 2010, as well as the European Championships in 2012 before he hung up his boots in 2014.
Puyol stayed on at FC Barcelona in a role as assistant to Director of Football Andoni Zubizarreta but resigned in January 2015.
FC Barcelona 1995-2014
La Liga (6): 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13
Copa del Rey (2): 2008/09, 2011/12
UEFA Champions League (3): 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11
UEFA Super Cup (2): 2009, 2011
FIFA World Club Cup (2): 2009, 2011
FIFA World Cup: 2010
UEFA European Championship: 2008