When you spend 5 years at Barcelona, and you contribute to the club as one of the best players, it’s normal to be hailed as a legend, right?
Well, not if you suddenly decide to continue your career at R. Madrid. If Figo joined any other club, except for R. Madrid, he would be loved by Barcelona fans.
But he picked Real Madrid, and those 5 years of success are meaningless now. Figo was a star player at Real Madrid, and Barcelona.
He even got to wear the number 10 on his back. It’s not like he didn’t deserve it with the way he played, but why Real Madrid?
It’s not against the law to join your biggest rival. It’s just a matter of dignity. Football is all about respect. You respect your teammates, the club, the fans and even the opposite players. But Figo put his interest before the club.
Barcelona helped him to reach the peak of his career, and his decision to join R. Madrid was disrespectful.
It’s one thing to leave Barcelona for Chelsea, and then join Madrid. But a direct move from Barcelona to Real Madrid is not acceptable.
We’re not just talking about the El Clasico rivalry. Every league has rivals, and it’s extremely rare to see any transfer going on between them.
Barcelona fans were mad about the scandal move, and they did express their feelings with a little unique act during the El Clasico on Camp Nou:
We believe the number one reason why Figo left Barcelona was the salary. We guess he cared more about retiring rich, rather than respected.
Figo’s comment on the transfer
“Nobody will hear me say anything bad about Barcelona apart from my end there,” Figo said, as quoted by Sport.
“It was a fantastic era that helped me grow a lot as a player. I enjoyed those five years there a lot. I don’t regret my past. They allowed me to be who I was as a professional, I can only say good things.
“When I spoke with him (former Barcelona president Josep Lluis Nunez, about a new contract), I think that he thought it was a bluff of mine (the offer from Real Madrid) to improve my economic terms.
“It was an important step. I knew that I came (to Madrid) with the objective of winning more prestige and titles. In better economic conditions. It was, in the end, recognition, because at the end of the day it all started with the anger you get in your job when you’re not recognised for what you do. And you say, ‘OK, I will take this step.’ But when it all gets so serious, you say, ‘Bloody hell.’
“And you have to decide, and I did. I have always given my best at every club. And when you feel that you do something and they don’t recognise you or listen to you, well you say, ‘F*** it.’”