Why Carles Puyol's Time in World Football Spotlight Is Nearing Its End

John McGonigalCorrespondent IIAugust 8, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 05:  Carles Puyol of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on May 5, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Spanish central defender Carles Puyol has been a stalwart for years on Barcelona and his country in the middle of the defense.

However, due to a combination of reasons, it’s almost safe to say that the Catalan is on his way out of the world football spotlight.

Puyol has done it all in his career, winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup for Spain, and 18 major titles in over a decade with Barca.

However, one reason why he will begin to fade is his future lack of presence on the Spanish national team.

While Spain ended up winning a record third straight major titles, it was to no help of Carles Puyol.

In early May 2012, Puyol suffered pain in his right knee against RCD Espanyol, leading him to require arthroscopic surgery.

With the unfortunate surgery, Puyol was scheduled to miss at least six weeks, causing him to miss out on the whole European tournament.

While he hasn’t commented recently about his future on the national team, Puyol said in August 2010 that he would play for Spain for at least another two years, making it unlikely that he’ll be back for another major tournament.

Not only is his national team future in question, but he may also face less playing time and impact toward the end of his Barcelona career.

Puyol has been the captain of Barca since 2004 and it’s no denying that he’s been the vocal and mental leader of that team, along with being their best defender for years.

Considering this, Barcelona and Puyol are currently working on a one-year contract extension (via ESPN Soccernet), allowing the 34-year-old defender to end his career at Camp Nou.

Already a relatively slow player, Puyol may be slowed down even more coming back from this injury at such an age.

As previously mentioned, Barcelona is expressing interest in bringing back Puyol, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t tried to bring in other centre backs.

According to FoxSports.com, Barcelona have been linked with a move to bring in Liverpool’s Daniel Agger to help out the centre back situation.

However, if they were to do this, a proven, veteran guy like Agger would demand playing time, which could cause issues for Puyol if he can’t get back into good form quickly.

Also, InsideFutbol reports that the club may make a run at promising Lyon defender Dejan Lovren.

Overall, with the combined issues of age, health and replacement talk, it looks like Puyol’s time in the spotlight could begin to dwindle sooner rather than later.