Luis Figo is a former Portugal international who played for Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan during his playing days.
Figo, who is now 48 is one of the most celebrated players in the history of his country. He initially held the record for the all-time highest cap for his country before being overtaken by Cristiano Ronaldo, who doesn’t look like stopping any moment from now.
Figo rose through the ranks with the Portuguese national team and Sporting Lisbon and later hang his boot on 31 May 2009.
Figo, who used to play in the wing or as an attacking midfielder is renowned for his creativity and ability to get past defenders. Figo is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation because of his record in the Spanish La Liga in terms of assist (106), which is the second-most in the Spanish League history, behind Lionel Messi.
What are Luis Figo’s achievement?
Before retiring, Figo won the 2000 Ballon d’Or, 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. He was also named by living legend Pele in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in the year 2004.
Trophies won by Figo include the Portuguese Cup, four La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, three Spanish Super Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, four Serie A titles, one Italian Cup and three Italian Super Cups.
Although success eluded him at the international level except at the junior level with success in FIFA World Youth Championship in 1991. He eventually scored 32 goals for Portugal. He represented his country at three European Championships and two World Cups, helping them reach the final but finish as runners-up at Euro 2004.
The controversy surrounding Figo’s move from Barcelona to Real Madrid
There was a controversy when Figo secured a move from Barcelona to title rivals, Real Madrid in 2000 for a world record fee of €62 million. May Catalans see him as a betrayer for joining their title rivals, where he also recorded some success.
Meanwhile, Figo is not the only player to make such a move. Luis Enrique also played for both clubs during his career.
The family background of Luis Figo
Figo is the only child of António Caeiro Figo and Maria Joana Pestana Madeira who moved from Alentejo to Lisbon in the early 1970s.
The former footballer grew up in the working-class district of Cova da Piedade, Almada before beginning his career as a street footballer at U.F.C. Os Pastillas.
He later joined the academy of Sporting Clube de Portugal at the age of 12. In his youth, Figo played futsal from which he learned a lot of skills that helped him later in his career.
He then secured a move to Barcelona where he also recorded success in the league playing alongside Ronald and Rivaldo.
But in 200, he made controversy joining Real Madrid. He felt the consequence of the decision when he came to play against Barcelona at Camp Nou in 2001 with fans throwing several objects at him. Barcelona eventually won the game 2-0.
He went on to score 14 goals in his first season with Madrid where he went to win the 2001 La Liga title. Madrid also won the 2001–02 UEFA Champions League.
Luis Figo pig head
During his second game back at the Camp Nou on 23 November 2002, Figo produced one of the defining images of the Barcelona–Real Madrid rivalry.
The sign of hatred or the hurt didn’t subside. Every time Figo was within range of the Barcelona fans, beer cans, lighters, bottles and golf balls flew.
Since he decided to take corners this time around as well as throw-ins, Barcelona fans’ anger grew more. It got worse midway through the second half when he won a corner.
Amid a shower of flying objects, it took Figo two minutes to take a corner. Another corner followed on the other side, and as Figo walked across. He slowed to pick up the missiles and as he prepared to take the corner he moved away some of the debris while giving an ironic thumbs-up and smiling.
Every time he is about to take the corner, another missile would land which was repeated over and over until the referee Luis Medina Cantalejo suspended the game for almost 20 minutes.
During the break-in play, the defining image of the rivalry, a pig’s head, was picked up on camera, which was in among the debris near the corner flag.
Why Luis Figo left Barcelona
In an interview with Marca, Figo claimed a lack of “recognition” was behind his decision to leave Barcelona and join Real Madrid back in 2000.
“It was an important but difficult decision. I left a city that gave me a lot and where I felt good.
“But when you don’t feel like you’re recognised for what you’re doing and you have an offer from another club then you think about it,” Figo said.
Luis Figo’s daughters and personal life
Figo’s wife is a Swedish model Helen Svedin. The marriage has already produced three daughters – Daniela (born in March 1999), Martina (born in April 2002), and Stella (born 9 December 2004).
They also have a house in the countryside outside Sollefteå, Sweden.
What does Luis Figo do now?
Figo took an advisory role with UEFA for now and helps promote its competitions across the world.
After retiring with Inter, he has been involved with the Nerazurri in various roles.
Luis Figo position
Figoused to play in the wing or as an attacking midfielder.
Luis Figo number
His favourite number is 7, which he usually wear with most teams.