Figo in 2010
|Full name||Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo|
|Date of birth||4 November 1972|
|Place of birth||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder
|* 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 retired Portuguese 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 Portugal 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 in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.
Figo was a winger renowned for his creativity and having the ability to go past defenders, and is regarded to be one of the best players of his generation. He could also play as an attacking midfielder. Figo is one of the few football players to have played for both Spanish rival clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. His controversial 2000 transfer from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid set a world record fee of £37 million (€62 million).
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 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.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Club career
- 3 International career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 Honours
- 7 Orders
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 External links
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.
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". In his final season at Sporting he won the 1994–95 Portuguese Cup.
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 giants FC Barcelona for a £2.25 million fee, 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.
It was with Barcelona from that Figo's career really took off, winning the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, starring alongside Ronaldo, followed by successive Primera División titles where he was part of a formidable attack which included Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert. In total, Figo appeared 172 times in the league for Barcelona, scoring 30 goals. He was revered in Catalonia because his presence in a Barcelona shirt had given the region a sense of external approval. According to a club official, Figo's support for Catalonia meant more to Barcelona than the service of a home grown hero in Pep Guardiola.
In July 2000, Figo made a surprising and controversial $60.1 million move to Barcelona's bitter rivals Real Madrid. There had been a buy out clause in his contract at Barcelona, a new world record fee, which Real Madrid met, and his arrival at Madrid signalled the beginning of Florentino Pérez's "Galáctico era". Figo became the new focus of the Barcelona–Real Madrid rivalry, with Barcelona fans feeling betrayed by his transfer and turned against him. His move to Madrid was huge because he was a star player at Barcelona, reliable and committed to the cause when wearing the Blaugrana jersey. A team leader, one of his Barcelona teammates stated; “our plan was simple: give the ball to Luis. He never, ever hid.” Although now wearing the white shirt of Real Madrid, he won the Ballon d’Or award in November 2000, largely for what he did for Barcelona where he became the best in the world.
When Figo returned to Barcelona for the first time in a Real Madrid shirt on 23 October 2000, the noise at Camp Nou was deafening. There were banners hung around the stadium with the words; Traitor. Judas. Scum. Mercenary. Figo was mercilessly taunted throughout, and when he came out of the tunnel and ran on to the field the jeers of almost 98,000 Barcelona fans escalated, with a visibly shocked Figo reaching for his ears, twisting them inwards. When the game started, every time he got the ball the noise rose with insults and missiles flying such as oranges, sandwiches in foil, bottles, cigarette lighters and mobile phones. The regular corner taker for Madrid, Figo didn't take any corners at the Camp Nou to avoid being in close proximity to the fans. Barcelona were victorious, winning 2-0, and Madrid’s president Florentino Pérez stated after the match; "The atmosphere got to us all.” Madrid defender Iván Campo commented; “That night when Figo first went back was incredible. I’ve never heard anything like it. Luis didn’t deserve that. He’d given his all for Barcelona. It was built up before: ‘a traitor’s coming’, the media said. No, Luís Figo is coming, one of the greats for you. That night hurt him, you could see. His head was bowed and he was thinking: ‘bloody hell, I was here last season …’ But my lasting emotion was admiration: you’ve got balls.”
In his first season with Madrid, Figo won the 2001 La Liga title, scoring fourteen goals in all competitions. He received the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. He would be joined at the club by Zinedine Zidane in the summer of 2001, and in the following season Madrid won the 2001–02 UEFA Champions League, Figo's second major European trophy.
Figo's second game back at the Camp Nou, on 23 November 2002, produced one of the defining images of the Barcelona–Real Madrid rivalry. There was no sign of the hatred or the hurt subsiding, and every time he came within range of the Barcelona fans, beer cans, lighters, bottles and golf balls flew. Figo commented; "I was worried that some madman might lose his head." This time, Figo had decided that he would take corners, as well as throw-ins, and midway through the second half Madrid won a corner. Amid a shower of flying objects, it took Figo two minutes to take it. 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 began his run-up to take the corner another missile would land which was repeated over and over, until the referee Luis Medina Cantalejo suspended the game which lasted 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.
Figo would spend five seasons at Madrid with his final success being the 2003 La Liga title. In April 2013, Figo was named by the sports newspaper Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history".
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.
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." Figo was on the sidelines when Inter won the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League on 22 May 2010.
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 due to an elleged rift between him and national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, although this was denied. In June 2005 he reversed his decision and returned for the 2006 World Cup qualifying wins against Slovakia and Estonia under Scolari.
Figo captained the squad during the 2006 World Cup, leading the team to the semi-finals. With three wins, Portugal finished top of their group and qualified for the knock out rounds with Mexico. They advanced past the Netherlands in the last 16, and defeated England on penalties in the quarterfinal.
In the semifinal, Portugal 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.
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. He works closely with Internazionale, serving as an ambassador for the club at functions across Europe. He is also a board member of the Inter Campus charity project run by Inter Milan.
Figo is the founder of Network90, private members' networking site for the Professional Football Industry. Figo is fluent in five languages, Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian and French.
|Sporting CP||Primeira Liga||1989–90||3||0||—||—||3||0|
|Real Madrid||La Liga||2000–01||34||9||1||0||14||5||49||14|
|Portugal national team|
|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|
- La Liga: 1997–98, 1998–99
- Copa del Rey: 1997, 1998
- Supercopa de España: 1996
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1997
- UEFA Super Cup: 1997
- La Liga: 2000–01, 2002–03
- Supercopa de España: 2001, 2003
- UEFA Champions League: 2002
- UEFA Super Cup: 2002
- Intercontinental Cup: 2002
- Serie A: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
- Coppa Italia: 2006
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2005, 2006, 2008
- UEFA European Football Championship Runner up: 2004
- FIFA U-20 World Cup: 1991
- UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship: 1989
- UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Runner up: 1994
- UEFA Under-21 Championship Golden Player: 1994
- Portuguese Golden Ball: 1994
- Portuguese Footballer of the Year: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
- ESM Team of the Year: 1997–98, 1999-00
- La Liga Foreign Player of the Year: 1999, 2000, 2001
- Sporting CP Player of the Year: 1994
- UEFA European Football Championship Teams of the Tournament: 2000, 2004
- World Soccer (magazine) Player of the Year: 2000
- Ballon d'Or: 2000
- FIFA World Player of the Year: 2001
- UEFA Team of the Year: 2003
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2006
- FIFA 100
Notes and references
- "Figo Stats". FootballDatabase.com. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
- "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "EURO 2000 Profile: Luis Figo". BBC Sport. 14 May 2000. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Figo best in world". BBC News. 17 December 2001.
- "The history of the world transfer record". BBC News. Retrieved 1 May 2014
- "expertfootball.com". AFP. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- "Ambassador Luis Figo". UEFA. Retrieved 19 May 2014
- "Football: Figo was set to be Maine man; Madrid star nearly joined City for pounds 1m.".
- "Figo falters in face of Catalan fury". Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2014
- Lowe, Sid (2013). "Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid". pp.338-367. chpt."And Pigs Did Fly". Random House, 2013
- Nash, Elizabeth (25 July 2000). "Figo defects to Real Madrid for record £36.2m". The Independent (London). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Jefferies, Tony (27 November 2002). "Barcelona are braced for a stiff penalty". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "The best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history". Marca.com. 12 April 2013.
- "Figo announces retirement after Inter land title". AFP. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- "Figo officially announces retirement". AFP. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- Luis Figo gebührend verabschiedet
- "Luis Figo announces international retirement". 19 August 2004.
- "Figo makes international return". 19 May 2005.
- "England beaten in penalties again". BBC. Retrieved 28 May 2014
- "Germany 3-1 Portugal" . BBC. Retieved 28 May 2014
- "UEFA, cities and clubs united in Barcelona".
- "Network90: A New Place For The Industry To Meet". 11 October 2013.
- Luís Figo at National-Football-Teams.com
- "Selecção distinguida pelo Duque de Bragança" (in Portuguese). Cristiano Ronaldo News. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Luís Figo.|
- Luís Figo at Real Madrid (English) (Spanish)
- Luís Figo – UEFA competition record
- Luís Figo – FIFA competition record
- Luis Figo Foundation
- Luís Figo PortuGOAL profile
|World football transfer record
|Portugal national football team captain