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Puyol delays decision on future until after final

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-07-08 18:31:49
Puyol delays decision on future until after final

POTCHEFSTROOM: Veteran defender Carles Puyol, whose headed goal took Spain into the World Cup final, will make a decision on his international future after Sunday`s title showdown with Holland.

"What faces us is beautiful and after that will be the time to think," the 32-year-old Puyol said Thursday.

"No decision has been made. I will talk about it with the coach Vicente Del Bosque and the sporting director (Fernando Hierro) after the final."

Barcelona star Puyol made his international debut in 2000 against the Dutch in a friendly and on Sunday will be winning his 90th cap.

Puyol`s powerful header from a pinpoint Xavi cross 17 minutes from time in the semi-final on Wednesday was enough to steer European champions Spain to a 1-0 win against Germany and a place in a first World Cup final.

He had come close in the first half of the Durban clash, but his header sailed over the crossbar.

"I haven`t scored many goals so this one was very important. I`m happy for the team to be in the final, we deserve to be there," said Puyol.

"I had talked about the move with Xavi and to put the ball near to the penalty spot. In the first half it didn`t work, but in the second Xavi was right on target. It was a moment to treasure, even more so because I`m not in the habit of scoring goals.

"Everything went by so quickly and we knew that if kept our shape, we could reach the final. We know how important this is for Spanish football. I hope that on Sunday I can score another important goal like this one."

Spain and Holland have yet to win a World Cup final although the Dutch have been runners-up on two occasions.

Both sides like to play a tight, stylish passing game with patience the key to moving forward.

Puyol believes it will be an open final on Sunday.

"Both teams like to play football, both have very talented players," said the defender, who has seen his team grow in confidence since losing their opening group game to Switzerland.

"We were favourites at the start of the the tournament and when we lost the first game it was seen as a disaster.

"We didn`t play badly. We got through the first round and have grown in confidence. On Wednesday, against Germany, we played our best match.

"We approach the final with desire and respect. Both teams can produce an attractive final, we both deserve to be there."

BDST: 1615hrs, July 9, 2010

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