Luis Figo

Luis Felipe Madeira Figo first played football in the street team Os Pastilhas. At 11, he joined the junior section of Sporting Lisbon. In 1989, Figo was a member of the Portuguese team that finished third in the FIFA U-16 World Championships in Scotland. He won the FIFA World Junior Championships in 1991. Then he formed the heart of the team with Rui Costa and João Pinto. Figo was 17 when he made his debut in the Portuguese championship. He earned his first international cap soon after turning 19, and was transferred to FC Barcelona in 1995. He was central to the team that won the 1997 Cup Winners Cup and the European Supercup, the 1998 and 1999 Spanish championship and the 1997 and 1998 Spanish Cup.

But Figo’s most outstanding performance to date came in the 2000 Euro Championships in Belgium and Holland. Figo was both the head and heart of a Portuguese team that played the finest attacking football of the tournament, before succumbing in the semi-final to the eventual winner, France. After Euro 2000, Figo moved to Real Madrid, where he immediately won the Spanish Championship. Figo won the Golden Boot 2000, the best player in the world.

He was voted the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. In April 2000, a book was published about Portugal’s most famous and best footballer since the legendary Eusebio. It’s title: “Figo — Born to Triumph”.