Barcelona defender Carles Puyol says a troublesome knee injury led him to consider an early retirement.

The 33-year-old Spain international hurt his left knee on Jan. 22 and returned to make only a few appearances before the end of last season. He underwent surgery in June and has played more regularly for Barcelona since returning in September.

Puyol was quoted as telling TV station Antenna 3 that he ''couldn't see a solution - I lost my will and I couldn't play. The thought of giving up football even crossed my mind.''

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque called up Puyol for the first time since November for the World Cup champion's Euro 2012 qualifying match at the Czech Republic on Friday. The European champions play Scotland on Tuesday.