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Barca’s defensive stalwart has given the French playmaker the thumbs up should he one day decide to join the Blaugrana.

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Carles Puyol had a fascinating tussle with Franck Ribery during Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final showdown between Bayern Munich and Barcelona, which the Catalans drew 1-1 to advance to the last four with a 5-1 aggregate win.

The Frenchman proved to be the only shining light in what was otherwise a disastrous tie for the Bavarians, scoring his side’s only goal in the two-legged contest, and his performance has drew plaudits from the Blaugrana captain.

“Yes, I must say that he is very good. He is a player who can make a difference,” he told Canal Plus in a post-match interview when asked what it was like to face his potential future team-mate.

“But if you ask me whether or not Barcelona will sign him, that is no longer my job. All I can say is that he’s one of the players who makes a difference in a game.”

Puyol then went on to analyse the match at the Allianz Arena: “We are satisfied, especially for the team, because it was an important day for us.

“We always had it in our heads to get a strong start and to try and score a goal to make it more complicated for them, although we didn’t manage that until the end.

“But it was a good game because we more or less controlled the match even though they created their fair share of chances. But that’s normal for a team with so many quality players.”

Barca are now one step closer to completing an historic treble, but the 31-year-old captain cautioned the team not to get over-excited.

He said, “We have to take things one step at a time, although we have taken a big and important step forward.

“The team is working well and our confidence is growing and we are all very excited with what lies ahead in the future. We are aware that it is worth the suffering to fight to the maximum.

“But now, it is necessary to think about the following games in La Liga and when the time arrives, we will start thinking about the Champions League semi-finals.”

Barcelona return to domestic duties this weekend to kick off a daunting run of fixtures as they take on their bogey team, Getafe, before facing third-placed Sevilla and then meeting with Chelsea on April 28. 

KS Leong,

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