A decade after Migueli hung up his boots, Puyol took up the mantle of pushing past the pain barrier, playing every game as if it was the UEFA Champions League final and showing the passion needed to be a Barcelona legend.
The same trait we praise him for—playing through injury—is the primary reason why Carles has found himself in this precarious situation.
His mind may still react like the old Puyol, but his feet don't, so he's always a liability when an opposing player takes him on.
It's even worse when the ball is lofted over his head because he can't recover.
Marca reported: "Carles Puyol could be the surprise inclusion in the Barcelona squad for the Champions League semi-finals first leg at Bayern Munich." Surprise is the wrong word to use.
He hasn't lived up to the standard expected of a FIFA World Cup, Euro and UEFA Champions League winning defender.
There are valid external distractions that may have affected Gerard's performances.
1. His relationship with Shakira.
2. Having to be the shoulder to lean on as she vents about her ex-boyfriend demanding over $250 million in damages—he claims he masterminded her success (via Dareh Gregorian at the New York Daily News).
3. Piqué's mind (rightly) being pre-occupied with his newborn son, Milan.
He went from being one of the greatest defensive midfielders of his generation to a mediocre centre-back prone to being outsmarted by opposing forwards.
The only difference between he, Alex Song, Sergio Busquets and Adriano is that the Argentine has had an extended run at the back.
Javier probably feels he drew the short straw.
Hopefully, the ligament damaged he suffered isn't career-debilitating.