The 35-year-old defender announced earlier this week that he will leave Camp Nou at the end of the season and Ronaldo has nothing but respect for his old adversary.
"It took me by surprise. His status at Barcelona is like Hierro's at Real Madrid. He's a club icon," Ronaldo was quoted as saying by Marca. "He has always been very loyal and polite. He is a role model. Puyol is an embodiment of fair play in football."
Ronaldo also briefly looked back at the times when he met Puyol on the pitch and admitted that the defender always made life hard for him.
"Puyol was a pain to try to get past on the pitch," he confessed.
The Spain international has made nearly 600 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions over the past 15 seasons.