Tottenham Hotspur and Argentina defender Cristian Romero has admitted that he grew up watching the defensive duo of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique while further saying that he now idolises Liverpool centre-half Virgil van Dijk.
“When I was young, I used to watch a lot of Puyol and Pique’s Barcelona. Nowadays I watch a lot of van Dijk,” the 24-year-old defender told DSports (h/t Roy Nemer).
The defensive partnership of Puyol and Pique has gone down as one of the best in the sport. Arriving from Manchester United as an unfinished 21-year-old, Pique was slotted alongside the former Barça captain in his debut season.
Thanks to the tactical genius of a certain Pep Guardiola, the decision worked wonders as while Puyol took care of the rigid affairs, Pique was given the more technical role of building the play from the back.
The duo went on to win a historic treble in their debut season together, winning the Spanish La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
By the time Puyol hung his boots, the pair had picked four La Liga titles, two Champions League titles, three Copa del Reys and two Supercopa de Espana.
The post-Puyol era has been all about Pique stepping up and the centre-back has gone on to help Barcelona in every way possible.
Meanwhile, speaking further, Cristian Romero also shed light on his humble beginning, saying five years ago when he was still in Cordoba, playing for Belgrano, he thought of quitting the sport for good.
Fast forward to 2022, and he is now sharing the field with former Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi in the national team setup.
“Five years ago I was in Cordoba, thinking about quitting football and today I have to live all this. Playing with Argentina, with great figures, having Leo [Messi] as a teammate,” he added.