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'Takes its toll' - Figo on Barcelona's reaction to his infamous Real Madrid transfer

12:53 AM SGT 16/10/22
Luis Figo Real madrid
Portugal legend Figo opened up about the toll that the reaction surrounding his controversial move from Barcelona to Real Madrid had on him.
  • Figo made controversial move to Madrid
  • Portugal icon was a world-record transfer
  • He feared a fan attacking him at Camp Nou

WHAT HAPPENED? After five years at Barcelona, Figo made the controversial switch to Madrid in 2000 for a then-world record fee of €62 million. The move infuriated Barca fans and the Ballon d'Or winner feared a physical attack from a supporter when he returned to Camp Nou for a Clasico match.

WHAT THEY SAID: “These days, there’s more protection. It felt like I was doing a press conference every day. That takes its toll. We were starting to tour, a new idea, there was the rivalry, the pressure, the price," Figo told The Guardian.

"Not everyone likes God, how is everyone going to like me? My only concern was if something happened physically [at my Camp Nou return], some madman. But go and play football? Nah! In football there’s no reason to be scared.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although not the only player to cross the Clasico divide, Figo's switch to the Santiago Bernabeu has gone down as one of the most controversial transfers of all time. Barca fans threw projectiles at the Portuguese star when he returned to Camp Nou with Madrid and on one famous occasion a pig's head was launched at him.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Figo will have a close eye on events at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday as Madrid and Barcelona play out the first Clasico of the season.