It was 2000 and Florentino Pérez wanted to become Real Madrid president. It was a difficult task because the previous president, Lorenzo Sanz, had just won the second Champions League in only three years with Vicente del Bosque on the bench. However, Florentino showed his skills and signed Barcelona star Luis Figo for his project. Now, Figo explained in Diario As how everything happened.
Figo said that he wanted a pay raise but Barcelona president, Josep Lluis Núñez, didn’t accept it. Then, Figo told Núñez that he had a good offer from Real Madrid but “Núñez thought I was bluffing”.
Figo’s agent, José Veiga, had the first contact with Florentino Pérez: “I didn’t sign anything. The one who signed was my agent. I was on holidays in Sardinia and I wasn’t convinced to step forward”. At this point, Figo says it was a “big step” in his career although it was very risky: “Everything started because I was angry because in my job they didn’t value my work. And you think, ‘OK, I’m making the step’… But everything get serious and you say ‘WTF!’”, Figo explained to Diario As.
FC Barcelona supporters don’t like him, but Figo still has good memories for this time in his career: “It was a wonderful time and I grew up a lot as a player. I enjoyed a lot the five years I spent there. I didn’t reject about my past. It allowed me to become the professional I was. I only have positive things to say”, Figo commented.
Figo’s departure from Barcelona was a shock for all the supporters. He was the captain, one of the best players and he even made some jokes about Real Madrid fans. However, a good offer at the right moment from Florentino Pérez changed the history. Two years after, Figo could win the Champions League with Real Madrid in Glasgow against Bayer Leverkusen and accomplished his dream.