Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the board knew a week ago of Carles Puyol's plans to leave.
The club captain announced this week he would be leaving Barca at the end of the season.
Bartomeu said: "it was a week ago that he told us he was leaving . He will always have a place here though, he has so much to contribute to young people . He is an example of maturity, honesty , sacrifice and ambition.
"If this was America, his number would be withdrawn and his shirt would be on show in the highest place in the Camp Nou."
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