Carlos Puyol has paid tribute to the influence Louis van Gaal had on his career and hailed his ability to give people opportunities as a reason why he will go to Manchester United.
Puyol called time on his Barcelona career this week and his warm words towards Van Gaal join the likes of Victor Valdes and Xavi in the pro Van Gaal camp.
“He’s been one of the most important managers that I’ve had,” Puyol said.
“He gave me the opportunity to play with the first-team which is most important.
“He is very demanding but the most important quality that he has in my opinion is that he is always straight and very honest. I value that.
“He might say something you don’t like, but if you work hard, he will always give you an opportunity. That is very important.
“That is why he will go to Manchester United.”
Given that Van Gaal only spent three years at Barcelona during the early stages of the careers of these players, it is a testament to the lasting impact he had on them that they speak so fondly of him now.
He carries a reputation of leaving a trail behind him when he leaves a club that the new manager has to pick up but if these appraisals are anything to go by, he also leaves a positive lasting impact.