(Lisbon, 1972) Portuguese football player, regarded as one of best interior of world football. Luis Filipe Madeira Caeiro, known in the sports media with the nickname of Figo, was born on November 4, 1972 at the hospital Sao Jorge do Arroio in Lisbon, as the only child of humble marriage formed by António Caeiro, who ran a modest shop grocery in Almada, and Maria Joana Madeira.
He was a good student that is gave very good mathematics, but soon had to drop out of school to devote himself fully to the realization of his dream: be a world-renowned footballer. He began to give the ball at age eight in the Baroque B, a modest club from the neighbourhood of workers where he was born. At age ten became Os Pastilhas, where already caught attention of the Scouts of the Sporting of Lisbon, the flagship of its environment.
At the age of twelve small Luis passed the tests and was integrated into the lower levels of the Lisbon club. He highlighted on the rest of his companions and made his debut with the under-16 selection, which in 1989 became champion of Europe. Had emerged a generation of Portuguese players who soon made remember the time of the great Eusebio and Figo was the most glittering star. This progression allowed that on April 1, 1990 it debuted with the first team of the Sporting in a competitive match before the maritime. He was only seventeen years old.
The following year was proclaimed with Portugal youth world champion. His performance in this tournament and its role in the Sporting earned him to debut with the senior team in 1992, by the hand of Carlos Queirós, who was his coach at Sporting.
The FC Barcelona Idol
His big game with the Lisbon team against Real Madrid in the 1994 UEFA Cup made the two leading Spanish soccer teams will be posted on it. Jorge Valdano, Real Madrid, insisted on hiring, but only offered 40 million pesetas. No agreement was reached and then the F. C. Barcelona pushed for him.
However, his hiring was not easy, because until the boat called at their gates, Figo had initiated negotiations with two Italian teams, Juventus and Parma, thing that could have brought you a sentence of two years leaving sporting. Luisito, therefore joined the FC team almost unwittingly. It was a bet of Johan Cruyff, the Barca coach, who, for 230 million pesetas - nothing moderate time-, engaged the services of emerging Portuguese to erase the traces of the hitherto Idol of the culé fans, Michael Laudrup, who had gone to Real Madrid because of differences with the Dutch coach.
Figo was soon made a hole in the dressing room and a privileged place in the heart of the Catalan fans, who became the standard-bearer of the named and the key part of the team wins. In the F. C. Barcelona always demonstrated its quality despite being under the command of three coaches with very distinct styles: Cruyff, Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal. With them, the Portuguese showed its ability to adapt to any game system. Barcelona stage, Figo won a Supercopa of Spain, two Copas del Rey, two leagues, a European Cup Winners Cup and a UEFA Super Cup.
In 2000 Figo highlighted greatly thanks to its excellent performance in Euro Nations, where in the end Portugal fell unjustly to France, with a goal from penalty kick marked by Zinedine Zidane, who would rival the Portuguese in the votes for the election of the best footballer in the world in the year.
Hero or villain?
The name of Figo point, the summer of that year, topped the front pages of newspapers in the heat of election campaigns to the presidencies of Real Madrid and F. C. Barcelona. The candidate of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, played the decisive trump card of the signing of the Portuguese, symbol of the named, defeating Lorenzo Sanz, who, despite the economic bankruptcy, had a dazzling balance in sports: a League and two European Cups in three years. Perez signed a pre-contract with the representative of the player, José Veiga, whereby the Figo, upon payment of your fabulous clause of termination - 10,000 million pesetas, was for Real Madrid if the Real Madrid candidate was elected President.
The agreement was an additional clause which was, at the very least, curious: If one of the parties did not comply with what has been agreed, should indemnify the other 5 billion pesetas. This condition allowed Florentino lend an ordago during the campaign: if I'm the President and Figo does not come this year to Real Madrid, promissory note [with the money that will give me Figo, should think] fertilizers the following season to all partners. In Barcelona, the Catalan team members rubbed hands, because all the candidates to the Presidency of the team claimed, without providing evidence, that the Portuguese star will not move from the Camp Nou.
However, Florentino was chosen, fulfilled its contract and Figo, who Joan Gaspart refused to give 5 billion to compensate Real Madrid, also. The Portuguese, flanked by Alfredo di Stefano and by the new President, posed in full heat wave with his new shirt, which went from hero to traitor and despised to idolized, according to the colors of the team from which contemplate is that complex operation that marked a milestone in the world of transfers, because it was the most expensive in history.
The monumental blast that Figo was received upon his return to the Camp Nou with the Red of the arch rival served in Madrid increased the affection towards the humiliated star and to accelerate the integration of the former barcelonista on his new team, Raúl González. After that unfortunate show starring a hobby that felt betrayed in their most sacred feelings, the topic Figo was fading, but the wound not cicatrizaría never entirely.
The award-winning athlete
In January 2001, while the previous year Figo had not won any trophy, or with your club or the Portuguese selection, got the Golden Ball in recognition of his phenomenal career. It had already twenty-eight years, and the French, while another favorite candidate was Zidane (the world and European champion with the selection), left aside their proverbial chauvinism and they opted for the Portuguese player, who picked it up so the witness of Eusebio, awarded identical trophy in 1965.
Soon after, Figo was distinguished, in London, with the prize awarded by the prestigious Magazine World Sports to the best player of the year in voting by Internet. The Portuguese Footballer has earned other awards: best player of the League 1999-2000, according to the coaches of first Division in Spain; best player of Portugal (1995 and 1996); second best player in the world, behind Zidane (2000); best Portuguese footballer in the world awarded by the Portuguese newspaper A Bola (2001), and personality of the year 2001, according to the Association of foreign press in Portugal, considering that who was had contributed to improve the image of the country abroad. In Portugal he wouldn't let anyone indifferent, and to award Nobel José Saramago, to flatter him, said: «I am the Figo literature».
With revenues only tab that in 2001 they surpassed the 1 billion net pesetas per year and with a contract until 2006, could afford to everyone. He was driving a black Porsche with enrollment of Madrid and in 2001 purchased a house in Conde Orgaz Park urbanisation. Figo collects watches and other valuables, but most of their investments dedicated them to real estate in Vilamoura (Algarve). He lives with Helene Swedin, a Swedish model whom they married in 2001 and with whom he has a two-year-old daughter, Daniela. It is a cinephile inveterate, mostly of action films, comedies of entanglement or any film that their favorite actors cast: Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Carri Ottis.
Figo does not forget its roots. It is a supportive man who feels committed to social problems, hates drugs and wars. In 2001, he saved his first team of disappearance through the purchase of a building with which the entity could endorse a credit millionaire. And not to renounce its principles: one of his best friends is still the former player of the F. C. Barcelona Josep Guardiola. To Caesar what is Caesar's and to Figo of Figo. Also when he moved from Sporting Lisbon, fans called him traitor, but he remains a supporter of the club.
Idolized by fans of Real Madrid and hated by the the F. C. Barcelona, it is nevertheless admired by all lovers of football in its purest state, due to its strength, dribbling, vision of the play and delivers absolute. Shy, answers monosyllabic, but famous for undergoing a physical wear and tear on the stars in the field, has dazzled fans around the world with its ability to outflank the enemy and by his precision passes from the right wing, which allow you to create many goal chances in each match.