BARCELONA | FIGO

Figo: "What's happening at Barcelona isn't normal"

The former Portugal midfielder, who played for both Barça and Real Madrid, spoke about the current situation at his former club.

Figo: "What's happening at Barcelona isn't normal"

“I don’t normally speak to the Catalan press, but I’ll make an exception,” said Luis Figo to general surprise at a press conference in Berlin. Asked whether he was happier at Real Madrid’s victory in Getafe or Valencia’s triumph at Camp Nou, the former Portugal midfielder, who played at both Camp Nou and the Bernabéu, replied: “I don’t take any pleasure in others losing, it doesn’t enrich my life or make me happy. I’m a sportsman, I don’t have anything against Barcelona, it’s you [the Catalan press] that have something against me. I had five great years [at Camp Nou]; I left for sporting and financial reasons and because I wasn’t given enough recognition. Honestly, on Saturday I played golf, on Sunday I played golf. My life doesn’t revolve around Barcelona or Madrid. I’m happier doing other things.”

Figo experienced a similar collapse at Real Madrid under Carlos Queiroz in 2004 to the one affecting Luis Enrique’s side now. Figo, winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2000, has spoken of his preference for Madrid to win the Champions League (“I see them as favourites along with Bayern Munich and I hope they win in Milan”), summed up Barcelona’s recent run of form: “Teams function on group dynamics. What’s happening to Barcelona isn’t normal. Losing so many games isn’t logical but when you’re in that situation everything that can go wrong does. It is a question of dynamics, not the quality of the players. But the Liga has opened up and anything can happen. Things become more tense and there is a narrower margin of error and that is when the character of sides becomes apparent. What happened with us under Queiroz? I can’t explain it, what can I tell you? When you’ve been playing well all season and in one week results go against you… these things happen, that’s sport, and only people who have played the game can understand how it is. If you’re in a positive dynamic, you score three or four goals. If you’re in a negative one you can’t hit a rainbow. But you can’t question the quality of the players.”