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15.04.2008 18:36

Tamudo-Puyol: rivalry in its purest form

Jesús Carrillo

This Saturday they will once again come face to face on the football field. Carles Puyol and Raúl Tamudo are two Catalans that feel very strongly for their clubs, and for them, derby matches are a very special affair indeed.

They have parallel footballing lives. They have both been playing football since a very young age and are both now in their thirties. And both have only ever known one set of colours. Puyol, those of Espanyol.

Their debuts

fcb-valladolid-puyol1.jpgTamudo made his first division debut earlier than Puyol. The Espanyol captain started under Paco Flores at the Rico Pérez in Alicante against Hércules. He scored his team’s second goal to win the match and save his side from the drop, while Hercules were sent down into division two. He was just 19 years old. The following year, he was sent on loan to Deportivo Alavés in Vitoria and then returned to Catalunya via UD Lleida, before returning to Espanyol for good in 1998/99.

The following year, Carles Puyol made his top flight debut for Barça. Like Tamudo, he did so in an away fixture, at Valladolid, under Louis van Gaal. Barça won 0-2.


Tamudo2.jpgBoth the captain of Barça and that of Espanyol are more than just players at their clubs. Puyol is everything a fan could want. He is committed, he has sentiment, he has a passion for the colours, and always gives it everything he has got for the fans and his colleagues. The same as could be said of Tamudo at Espanyol, and both players have ended up captaining their sides.

Derby clashes

QM3D7263.jpgTamudo has appeared in no fewer than 16 derbies with Barcelona, and has scored seven goals (three at the Camp Nou). These games have resulted in two Espanyol wins, three draws and eleven wins for Barça. Puyol, meanwhile, has played in 13 derbies, winning six, drawing five and losing just two.

Images Tamudo: RCD Espanyol
Images Tamudo: RCD Espanyol
Almost twenty years in La Liga
Between them, the two players have played more than 600 first division matches, making almost twenty years worth of top flight football. This is Tamudo's tenth season in the first division with Espanyol, while for Puyol it is his ninth. Since last season, Tamudo is the highest ever Espanyol goalscorer

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