REAL MADRID

Luis Figo: 'I didn't feel 100% recognised by Barcelona'

In a candid interview with LaLiga's website, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona man talked about the reasons behind his high-profile switch between the two rivals back in 2000.

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Luis Figo: 'I didn't feel 100% recognised by Barcelona'
JOSE HUESCA EFE

Alavés - Barcelona live

Ex-Barcelona midfielder Luis Figo has said that he did not feel "one hundred percent recognised" by the Barça board during his time at the club, and that that was what led to his departure to rivals Real Madrid in 2000.

"At the end of the day, if you’re not really feeling 100% recognised at the core of what you deliver and what you do, not by the fans, but from those who manage the club, when you have other offers you consider a change and that was what happened," Figo revealed in an interview with the LaLiga website.

Hesitation over Real move

The former Portugal star admitted, however, that he hesitated and there was "some moments" when he thought of not making the high-profile switch to Los Blancos.

Luis Figo

"In the end it was not only the sporting and economic factors, it was more the people that moved me too, and finally you just take the step and there is no turning back," he confessed.

Eventual winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2000, Figo first landed in LaLiga during the 95-96 season, transferring from Sporting Lisbon to the Catalan outfit when Johan Cruyff was coach – something Figo describes as a "fantastic" experience.

Zidane and Enrique doing "phenomenal" jobs

"I learned a whole new philosophy of training and seeing football. It was my first experience outside Portugal and I could not have started better," he said.

Now, he emphasises, that his former teammate at Real Madrid, Zinédine Zidane, "is doing better than ever" in his role as first-team coach at the white club.

"Real Madrid is a difficult club because it always seeks immediate results and improvement,” said Figo, while also hailing another of his former colleagues, Luis Enrique, as doing a “phenomenal” job at Barcelona.