After Pep Guardiola announced he was vacating the managerial position at Barcelona, club president Sandro Rosell confirmed his replacement to be assistant manager Tito Vilanova. Puyol revealed that while the players would have loved Guardiola to stay on, Vilanova is an ideal choice to take his place.
"The fact that Tito will be the manger is the best news we could get. He’s the continuation of a project and has the support of all the players. He knows the team and our philosophy better than anybody." he said to the club's official website.
"He knows a great deal about football and has worked hand in hand with Pep all this time. It’ll be more or less the same as it has been up to now. The philosophy and the idea will be the same. He’s the ideal person to take this project forward."
The central defender admitted life without Guardiola will take some getting used to, but the Spaniard is thankful to his manager for everything he has imparted to the team.
"We’ll be eternally grateful to him. He has marked a ‘before and after’ in football, and that’s really important. He’s given us so much, more than we could have imagined." Puyol shared.
"Things like always going out to win, having great respect for opponents…Now life goes on and we will try and follow the path he has marked out for us and to do as good a job as he has done."
"I’ll remember everything he’s given us. His way of understanding football. He’s left behind a legendary team that will be remembered for ever. I hope he gets the send-off he deserves, for everything he’s given us."
Puyol also disclosed that the squad had an inkling of Guardiola's decision after they lost the Champions League semi-final to Chelsea.
"If you’d asked us before the Chelsea match, we’d have said he was going to continue. After having two days off and, given everything that has been coming out, we were expecting it yesterday [Friday]." he stated.
"We players have tried in our day to day work and attitude to get him to continue. We’ve given our all. But when the pressure is like he’s explained, it’s difficult. It must be really hard to be a manager, and even more so the way he lives it. He thinks about football 24 hours a day."
Barcelona will visit Rayo Vallecano for their next La Liga fixture tonight [Sunday].