Lionel Messi has highlighted the effect Carles Puyol has had on Barcelona as the long-time skipper's career with the Spanish club comes closer to an end.
The Blaugrana captain announced on Tuesday that he will depart Camp Nou in the summer after spending 15 years in the first team of the Catalan giants.
Messi pledged his support to the 35-year-old center back as he believes he will have thought long and hard about the decision to leave and insisted he will be missed by everyone connected to the club.
"It’s a decision that he’s probably thought a lot about, because it’s not easy to make," Messi told television show Mundo Leo.
"If he’s said it, it’s because he’s totally convinced and sure about it. He'll be sorely missed, both inside and outside the dressing room.
Messi went on to wish the Spain international luck on his future endeavors as he plays out the remainder of his final season with Barca.
He continued: "We wish him the very best in whatever he wants to do. Whether he goes to play somewhere else or wants to do something different, I hope it goes really well. He deserves it, he’s a fabulous person."