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Figo: El Clásico Camp Nou abuse "worked out well with Coca-Cola"

The Portuguese star was subjected to a vitriolic reception at his former club in November 2002, but used the occasion to tip the wink to his sponsors.

The Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on 23 November, 2002, will be remembered as one of the most bad-tempered in history as the home fans poured abuse on Luis Figo, who had moved between the eternal rivals in 2000 as the first of Florentino Pérez’s Galáctico signings.

Figo’s first return to Camp Nou a year earlier was a rough ride for the Portuguese, but nothing could have prepared him for what he was subjected to during his second visit to his previous home ground – largely because he had avoided taking corners on the previous occasion. In the 2002 fixture, Figo decided he would perform his task as the designated corner taker but every time he went near the flag he was pelted with objects including lighters, coins, a bottle of whisky and even the severed head of a pig.

Figo: "I didn't know what to do or say"

However, despite the fury being vented towards him, Figo took the opportunity to give one of his sponsors a bit of very public exposure: “I was in charge of taking corners and I was focused on that because I wanted to do my job in the most professional way possible. But it became impossible because of the amount of things that were being thrown around, I didn’t know what to do or say. The only thing I remember is that it worked out for me. At that time Coca-Cola were sponsoring me and I saw a bottle on the pitch and picked it up as if I was filming an advert.