Carles Puyol Sends Spain to First World Cup Final

From left : Carles Puyol, The Dalai Lama and Thubten Wangchen (2007 File)

Barcelona powerhouse striker Carles "Tarzan" Puyol headed in Spain's winning goal against Germany in the 73rd minute taking his team to their first World Cup Final. The contest was a rematch of the European championship final two years ago that gave Spain its first major title in 44 years.

According to Puyol’s friend, Venerable Thubten Wangchen, director of Tibet House in Barcelona, Puyol is highly interested in Tibetan culture and has a Tibetan tattoo on his left arm which reads “Power is inside the Mind. The strong can endure.”

Ven. Wangchen said Puyol’s interest in Tibetan Buddhism was sparked by Sogyal Rinpoche’s book, “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” which helped him deal with death of a family member.

Carles Puyol, also an admirer of Tibet’s spiritual leader has met the Dalai Lama during his 2007 visit to Spain. Puyol has expressed his interest in helping the Tibetan national football team in the future, said Ven. Wangchen.

Sunday's final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is set, with Spain and the Netherlands battling to win international football's championship for the first time. The title will be decided at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium, completing the first World Cup tournament played in Africa. In eight previous meetings, the Netherlands has defeated Spain four times, with one draw.