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25.05.2009 12:37

Champions League memories

Marc Guillén / Jaume Marcet

José Ramón Alexanko and Carles Puyol have both had the honour of lifting the European Cup as Barça captain on the only two occasions the club has won the competition to date. They spoke about what they felt when they did that.

Alexanko at Wembley in 1992, and Puyol in Paris in 2006. The only two captains in Barça’s history to have lifted the European Cup find it hard to describe what it feels like because “too many things are happening in very little time”, and they agree that it’s only later that you really get to appreciate it. “There’s nothing else like it,” they say.

“Everything happens really fast”

“When you see it again on TV you get more excited than on the pitch because at that time everything happens so fast, you experience so many emotions in such a short period of time that it’s hard to take them in,” says Puyol. For Alexanko other people are also important: “You get this feeling from the people around you, the people who remind you of it, and when you see that picture again and again… Having that memory is great.”

A game to remember

Lifting up the Cup is the moment that symbolises the triumph of a team, a season, an era. It comes along when the players have finished the job and are feeling exhausted. That is why they find it hard to appreciate it at the time and easier to do so later on. “You do appreciate it more with the passage of time,” says Alexanko. “You see how tough it is to get to games like that and you remember lots of things.”
Champions League memories

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Teammates and fans
The two captains agree on the feelings but oddly enough diverge in who they wanted to dedicate the trophy to. In Paris Puyol thought about his teammates: “I just wanted to pick it up and pass it along to the other guys because they deserved it as well”. At Wembley, Alexanko only thought about the Barça fans: “My first thought was for the supporters. You think now I’ve got to pick up the cup, turn round and say to the fans ‘here it is, let’s celebrate’”.

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