Barcelona coach Tata Martino says skipper Carles Puyol's departure will be impossible to fill.

Martino heaped praise on "irreplaceable" Puyol following the centre-back's decision to leave the Catalan giants.

Martino said: "I think he's a footballer who is irreplaceable. I'm probably not the best-placed person to comment on this, because I've only worked with him for seven or eight months, but that's enough to say what I said.

"He's the type of player that a club has only once every so often. Life goes on at Barcelona, and the club will look for a replacement, but he'll always be in everyone's heads because he leaves an indelible mark."

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