Luís Figo

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Luís Figo
Luis Figo-2009 cropped.jpg
Figo in 2009
Personal information
Full name Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo
Date of birth (1972-11-04) 4 November 1972 (age 41)
Place of birth Lisbon, Portugal
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Winger
Youth career
1984–1989 Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1995 Sporting CP 137 (16)
1995–2000 Barcelona 172 (30)
2000–2005 Real Madrid 164 (36)
2005–2009 Internazionale 105 (9)
Total 579 (91)
National team
1991–2006 Portugal 127 (32)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo, OIH, (born 4 November 1972) is a Portuguese former international footballer. He played as a midfielder for Sporting CP, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Internazionale before retiring from football on 31 May 2009. He won 127 caps for the Portuguese national football team, making him the most capped Portuguese player in history. Figo was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, and was named amongst the FIFA 100.

Figo was a winger with a strong free kick and "the ability to take on defenders and score spectacular goals"[2] and is regarded to be one of the best players of his generation. He could also play as an attacking midfielder [3] Figo is one of the few football players to have played for both the Spanish rival clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. He had a successful career highlighted by several trophy wins, including 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.

Early years[edit]

The only child of Antonio Caeiro Figo and Maria Joana Pestana Madeira who moved from the Alentejo to Lisbon in the early 1970s, Figo grew up in the working-class district of Cova da Piedade, Almada, Lisbon. He began his career as a street footballer at U.F.C. Os Pastilhas, before joining Sporting Clube de Portugal at the age of 11.[4]

Club career[edit]

Sporting CP[edit]

Figo started his career at Sporting CP. He won his first senior international cap in 1991. Prior to that, he won the Under-21 World Championships and Under-16 European Championships with Portugal junior sides alongside Rui Costa and João Pinto. He was also a significant part of Portugal's "Golden Generation".

FC Barcelona[edit]

In 1995, Figo looked poised to join one of the big clubs of Europe, but a dispute between Italian clubs Juventus and Parma, with Figo having signed contracts with both clubs, resulted in an Italian two-year transfer ban on him. Eventually, Figo made a move to Spanish club FC Barcelona for a £2.25 million fee,[5] narrowly beating English club Manchester City (who had been recommended Figo by Malcolm Allison, the Ex-Manager of Sporting CP and former coach of City), to his signature.[6]

It was with Barcelona from that his career really took off, winning the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and successive Primera División titles. In total, he appeared 172 times in the league for Barcelona, scoring 30 goals.

Real Madrid[edit]

In July 2000, Figo made a surprising $60.1 million [7] move to Barcelona's bitter rivals Real Madrid.[8] Many Barcelona fans felt betrayed by his transfer and turned against him, despite Figo having many years of success with Barcelona and having been a fan favourite for over five years. When he returned three seasons later in a league match (2002), he got a heated reception from the crowd and many started throwing objects at him as he took corners and throw-ins, including a pig's head.[9]

Figo's arrival signalled the beginning of Florentino Pérez's "Galáctico era". With Madrid Figo won La Liga in 2001 and 2003 as well as the 2001–02 Champions League.

In April 2013, he was named by the sports newspaper Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history".[10]

Internazionale[edit]

Figo playing for Internazionale.

Figo left Real Madrid to join Italian club Internazionale in the summer of 2005 on a free transfer after his contract with Real Madrid had expired. This meant that Figo would finally be able to play for a club in Italy, something he had the chance to do before his move to Barcelona, but was scuppered due to a dispute between the two clubs interested, Juventus and Parma. During the summer of 2008, Figo's compatriot José Mourinho joined Inter on a managerial level. This has been said to please Figo, as he would have several Portuguese teammates during the remainder of his stay at Inter. On 16 May 2009, Figo announced his retirement from football, the same day Inter won the 2008–09 title, and re-confirmed this on 30 May; his final game was on 31 May against Atalanta at the San Siro. At Javier Zanetti's insistence, Figo captained the side for his very last match. He received a standing ovation from the crowd as he was substituted by Davide Santon. The freekick he scored in extra time against Roma during the Supercoppa Italiana was undisputedly his most memorable part of his time in Italy.[11][12]

Figo said, "I am leaving football, not Inter." He was interviewed by Inter Channel after his last game against Atalanta and also said, "I hope to be able to help this club to become even greater also after my retirement. I will certainly work for Inter in the future in the club board. I never imagined that I was going to remain here for such a long time. What I will never forget is the love that I have received since my first day here from my teammates and president Massimo Moratti. I will never forget it; Inter have given me the chance to start a winning cycle with some extraordinary people."[13] Figo was on the sidelines when Inter won the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League on 22 May 2010.

International career[edit]

The leader of Portugal's "Golden Generation," Figo won a FIFA World Youth Championship in 1991, the same year he made his senior debut against Luxembourg on 16 October 1991, in a friendly match that ended 1–1 when he was only 18 years old. He has performed at the highest level ever since, making appearances at Euro 1996, Euro 2000, Euro 2004 and the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He announced his retirement from international football following the Euro 2004 final upset-defeat by Greece. It was believed because there was a rift between him and national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari although this was denied.[14] However, in June 2005, he reversed his decision and returned for the 2006 World Cup qualifying wins against Slovakia and Estonia under Scolari.[15]

Figo captained the squad during the 2006 World Cup, leading the team to the semi-finals, where they were beaten by France courtesy of a penalty from his former club-mate and French captain Zinedine Zidane. This was Portugal's best finish in 40 years. The third place playoff caused some controversy as Figo did not start; Pauleta captained the team in his place. However, Portugal fell behind 2–0 to hosts Germany and Figo replaced Pauleta in the 77th minute, who handed him back the captain's armband, to cheers from both Portuguese and German fans. Although Germany scored another goal shortly after Figo's entrance, he ended his final cap for his country on a high note by setting up Nuno Gomes to head in an 88th minute consolation goal. Despite having no trophies to show for the "Golden Generation," Figo managed to captain the team to their best World Cup performance since the Eusébio era in 1966. He finished his international career with 127 caps and scoring 32 goals.

Personal life[edit]

Luís Figo in Madrid

Figo is married to Swedish model Helen Svedin. They met at a flamenco show and are now married with three daughters – Daniela (born in March 1999), Martina (born in April 2002), and Stella (born 9 December 2004). Along with his countryman, former Portugal national team manager and former youth team coach Carlos Queirós, Figo was briefly joint seat holder for A1 Team Portugal, in A1 Grand Prix, during the 2005–06 season. He now owns an upscale bar in the Algarve region of Portugal.

Figo is an ambassador for the Stop TB Partnership in the fight against tuberculosis.[16] He works closely with Internazionale, serving as an ambassador for the club at functions across Europe.[17][18] He is also a board member of the Inter Campus charity project run by Inter Milan.[19]

Figo is the founder of Network90, private members' networking site for the Professional Football Industry.[20]

Figo is fluent in five languages, Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian and French.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Club League Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sporting CP Primeira Liga 1989–90 3 0 3 0
1990–91 3 0 3 0
1991–92 34 1 7 0 2 0 43 1
1992–93 32 0 8 1 2 0 42 1
1993–94 31 8 1 0 3 0 35 8
1994–95 34 7 7 3 2 0 43 10
Total 137 16 23 4 9 0 169 20
Barcelona La Liga 1995–96 35 5 8 1 10 3 53 9
1996–97 36 4 9 2 8 1 53 7
1997–98 35 5 4 0 7 1 46 6
1998–99 34 7 10 1 6 1 50 9
1999–2000 32 9 2 0 13 5 47 14
Total 172 30 33 4 44 11 249 45
Real Madrid La Liga 2000–01 34 9 1 0 14 5 49 14
2001–02 28 7 6 1 10 3 44 11
2002–03 33 10 1 0 15 2 48 12
2003–04 36 9 8 3 11 1 55 13
2004–05 33 3 0 0 10 4 43 7
Total 164 38 16 4 60 15 239 57
Internazionale Serie A 2005–06 34 5 2 0 8 1 45 6
2006–07 32 2 7 1 7 0 47 3
2007–08 17 1 2 0 3 0 21 1
2008–09 22 1 3 0 25 1
Total 105 9 11 1 21 1 138 11
Total Portugal 137 16 23 4 9 0 169 20
Spain 336 68 49 8 104 26 488 102
Italy 105 9 11 1 21 1 138 11
Career total 577 93 83 13 134 27 795 133

International[edit]

[21] [22]

Portugal national team
Year Apps Goals
1991 3 0
1992 7 1
1993 5 2
1994 5 2
1995 6 1
1996 9 2
1997 7 2
1998 6 0
1999 9 4
2000 13 6
2001 9 9
2002 10 0
2003 10 3
2004 11 1
2005 7 0
2006 10 1
Total 127 32

International goals[edit]

Luís Figo: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 November 1992 Stade de Paris, Paris, France  Bulgaria 1–1 2–1 Friendly
2 9 October 1994 Daugava Stadium (Riga), Riga, Latvia  Latvia 0–3 1–3 Euro 1996 qualifying
3 13 November 1994 Estádio José Alvalade (1956), Lisbon, Portugal  Austria 1–0 1–0 Euro 1996 qualifying
4 3 June 1995 Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal  Latvia 1–0 3–2 Euro 1996 qualifying
5 19 June 1996 City Ground, Nottingham, England  Croatia 0–1 0–3 Euro 1996 Group Stage
6 9 October 1996 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Albania 0–1 0–3 1998 World Cup qualification
7 7 June 1997 Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal  Albania 2–0 2–0 1998 World Cup qualification
8 20 August 1997 Estádio do Bonfim, Setúbal, Portugal  Armenia 2–0 3–1 1998 World Cup qualification
9 31 March 1999 Sportpark Eschen-Mauren, Eschen, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 0–2 0–5 Euro 2000 qualifying
10 18 August 1999 Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal  Andorra 3–0 4–0 Friendly
11 4 September 1999 Tofik Bahramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan  Azerbaijan 1–1 1–1 Euro 2000 qualifying
12 8 September 1999 Stadionul Steaua, Bucharest, Romania  Romania 1–1 1–1 Euro 2000 qualifying
13 29 March 2000 Estádio Municipal de Leiria, Leiria, Portugal  Denmark 2–1 2–1 Friendly
14 2 June 2000 Estádio Municipal de Chaves, Chaves, Portugal  Wales 1–0 3–0 Friendly
15 12 June 2000 Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands  England 1–2 3–2 Euro 2000 Group Stage
16 16 August 2000 Estádio do Fontelo, Viseu, Portugal  Lithuania 2–0 5–1 Friendly
17 3 September 2000 Kadrioru Stadium, Tallinn, Estonia  Estonia 0–2 1–3 2002 World Cup qualification
18 15 November 2000 Estádio Primeiro de Maio, Braga, Portugal  Israel 1–0 2–1 Friendly
19 28 February 2001 Estádio dos Barreiros, Funchal, Portugal  Andorra 1–0 3–0 2002 World Cup qualification
20 28 February 2001 Estádio dos Barreiros, Funchal, Portugal  Andorra 3–0 3–0 2002 World Cup qualification
21 28 March 2001 Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal  Netherlands 2–2 2–2 2002 World Cup qualification
22 2 June 2001 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland  Republic of Ireland 1–1 1–1 2002 World Cup qualification
23 15 August 2001 Estádio de São Luís, Faro, Portugal  Moldova 1–0 3–0 Friendly
24 15 August 2001 Estádio de São Luís, Faro, Portugal  Moldova 2–0 3–0 Friendly
25 15 August 2001 Estádio de São Luís, Faro, Portugal  Moldova 3–0 3–0 Friendly
26 6 October 2001 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal  Estonia 5–0 5–0 2002 World Cup qualification
27 14 November 2001 Estádio José Alvalade (1956), Lisbon, Portugal  Angola 1–1 5–1 Friendly
28 2 April 2003 Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne, Switzerland  Macedonia 1–0 1–0 Friendly
29 11 October 2003 Estádio do Restelo, Lisbon, Portugal  Albania 1–0 5–3 Friendly
30 19 November 2003 Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal  Kuwait 3–0 8–0 Friendly
31 29 May 2004 Estádio Municipal de Águeda, Águeda, Portugal  Luxembourg 1–0 3–0 Friendly
32 3 June 2006 Stade Saint-Symphorien, Metz, France  Luxembourg 0–3 0–3 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Sporting CP
Barcelona
Real Madrid
Internazionale

National team[edit]

Individual[edit]

Orders[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Figo Stats". FootballDatabase.com. Retrieved 2006-12-23. 
  2. ^ "EURO 2000 Profile". BBC Sport. 14 May 2000. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Figo best in world". BBC News. 17 December 2001. 
  4. ^ "expertfootball.com". AFP. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  5. ^ transfer markt
  6. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Football%3A+Figo+was+set+to+be+Maine+man%3B+Madrid+star+nearly+joined...-a063686458
  7. ^ "Luís Figo". Transfermarkt. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Nash, Elizabeth (25 July 2000). "Figo defects to Real Madrid for record £36.2m". The Independent (London). Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Jefferies, Tony (27 November 2002). "Barcelona are braced for a stiff penalty". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  10. ^ "The best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history". Marca.com. 12 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Figo announces retirement after Inter land title". AFP. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  12. ^ "Figo officially announces retirement". AFP. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  13. ^ Luis Figo gebührend verabschiedet
  14. ^ "Luis Figo announces international retirement". 19 August 2004. 
  15. ^ "Figo makes international return". 19 May 2005. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ http://inter.it/aas/news/reader?L=en&N=33194&stringa=figo
  18. ^ http://inter.it/aas/news/reader?L=en&N=31498&stringa=figo
  19. ^ http://intercampus.inter.it/aas/ic2008?L=en#
  20. ^ "Network90: A New Place For The Industry To Meet". 11 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Luís Figo at National-Football-Teams.com
  22. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/figo-intl.html
  23. ^ "Selecção distinguida pelo Duque de Bragança" (in Portuguese). Cristiano Ronaldo News. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2006. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hernán Crespo
World football transfer record
2000–2001
Succeeded by
Zinedine Zidane
Preceded by
Fernando Couto
Portugal national football team captain
2004–2006
Succeeded by
Jorge Andrade