Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo, commonly known simply as Luis Figo, is a Portugese football player who features for the Italian powerhouse Inter Milan. He is a versatile player who can play either a midfielder or a winger.
Luis Figo was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, and was named amongst the FIFA 100. He is one of the few players to have featured with success both for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid and was also the captain of the Portugal national team until he retired at the end of the 2006 World Cup.
Luis Figo graduated from the youth academy at Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon and made his debut for them in 1989. He won the Under-20 World Championships and Under-16 European Championships with Portugal along with the other components of the Portuguese Golden Generation (such as Rui Costa, Joao Pinto, Rui Costa and Sérgio Conceição).
Luis Figo earned his first full international cap for Portugal in 1991. He was signed by Spanish superpower FC Barcelona in the summer of 1995. He won successive La Liga titles and the UEFA Cup-Winners’ Cup(in 1996) and was a huge favourite with the Blaugrana faithful for his tricks, leaderships skills, intricate dribblings, freekicks and mesmerizing oversteps until the summer of 2000 when he moved to Barcelona’s eternal rival Real Madrid for a then world record transfer fee of 65 million euros.
Luis Figo played for Real Madrid until the end of the 2004-2005 season and won two La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League crown in 2002. He was the first galacticos drafted into the Santiago Bernabeu by the club’s then president Florentino Perez.
Inter Milan signed Luis Figo on a free transfer on a two-year deal woth 6 million pounds. His contract was then renewed for one more year at the end of the 2006-2007 season as Figo became the fulcrum of the Inter Milan side tht won back to back scudetti in 2006 and 2007. Figo is also a firm favourite of the Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti who wants Figo to become the club’ sporting director once he decides to call it quits.
Luis Figo played a pivotal role in his nation’s progress to the semi-finals of Euro 2000 but like the rest of the team sank down in the 2002 World Cup. He then played for Portugal in Euro 2004 as thy reached the final. Figo then decided to retire from international football but returned in time for the 2006 World Cup in Germany where he captained his nation to the semi-finals.
Luis Figo is married to the Swedish model Helen Svedin and knows five different languages.
Some of Figo’s awards are:
- European Footballer of the Year 2000
- FIFA World Player of the Year 2001
- Ranked among FIFA 100