The Portuguese epilogue

Luis Figo SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.68 / 110

Over the years, there have been a number of elite players who featured in the Italian league but failed to make their mark. Figo was not one of them. Having won everything there was to win with both Barcelona and Real Madrid, he signed for Inter as a free agent in 2005. The Portuguese instantly began to sparkle at the San Siro with his dribbling, assists and goals. His top-class performances out on the pitch instantly earned him the nickname of ‘El paso doble’.

In Milan, he continued to do what he had always done throughout his career and that was win. In four years at Inter, he won four Scudetti, one Coppa Italia and three Supercoppa Italiana titles. In total, he ended up playing 140 matches for Inter, scoring 11 goals. The most important came on August 26th 2006.The final of the Supercoppa Italiana was being played at the San Siro, in what was the first competitive match after the Calciopoli scandal. All eyes were on Inter, who were back in action after securing their first Scudetto in years. However, they got off to a disastrous start and were 3-0 down to Roma after just 34 minutes, with the match seemingly all but over. At this point Figo’s skills came to the fore, inspiring an Inter comeback and he scored a majestic free kick in additional time to secure the win.

Figo came close to retiring in 2008 due to persistent injury issues, however, another Portuguese native soon arrived at the club, José Mourinho. The ‘Special One’ convinced him to continue. Together, they enjoyed one triumphant season together, which ultimately ended with the Scudetto. On 31 May against Atalanta, Figo played his final match at San Siro. He donned the captain’s armband and received total adulation from the crowd. He was a winger with the class of a player that only comes around once every 30 years.

Luis Figo

Luis Figo was born in 1972 and spent his youth career at Sporting Clube de Portugal. He made his first team debut with the Portuguese side in 1989, sealing a switch to Barcelona five years later. With the Blaugrana, he won two Spanish league titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and one European Super Cup. In 2000, he joined Real Madrid, where he then went on to lift many more titles, including the Champions League in 2002. The final team he played for in his career was Inter. With the Nerazzurri he won four consecutive Scudetti from 2005 to 2009. He also won the Ballon d’Or in 2000 and made 127 appearances for Portugal.