Luis Figo on Florentino Perez: “There are many things we disagree on”

In an exclusive interview with Marca today, real Madrid Legend Luis Figo delved into various interesting talking points, sharing his thoughts on the European Super League, the current state of football, Jude Bellingham and much more.

Below are some notable quotes from the interview.

Are there too many distractions for fans to sit down and watch a 90-minute match?

“We have to innovate and try to attract new fans, but football is the number one sport. If you like football, you watch it. If you’re a fan of a team, you watch the entire game. It’s true that if you ask a Rayo or Alavés fan if they watch 90 minutes of another match, they will answer no, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t watch or that they doesn’t like football. The challenge that now exists is to retain fans and young people compared to other entertainment platforms.

How much does he watch Real Madrid?

“I particularly watch Real Madrid matches. I like to watch good football and big matches, but since I like sport, I can also watch Sevilla-Osasuna if I’m quiet at home. I see what I can.

“I went to the new Bernabeu, because I have season tickets. If I don’t go there, my daughters go there. I’ve been a member for over 20 years.

“More than 20 years”: one of the conditions to become president of Real Madrid

“By proxy, that’s one of the requirements.

“No, no money. [laughs]. I’m short of money now.

“I never planned my projects and opportunities in my life because I want to be this or that. Your path in life leads you to make decisions and then you are right or wrong. This is what I have always done in my life. I never thought I would be working to be this or that in three years.

Does football need to change?

“I like the essence of football, not changing things and programming a lot of what happens in football. Football should be fair, of course you shouldn’t falsify the results, but when you start making mistakes in the center of the field and the VAR controls it… I don’t like it. Football is a sport of mistakes and players make them, which is why one team wins and another loses. So I don’t like these kinds of situations where there are so many interventions in the game and I would change that. Yes, I agree that a world or European championship uses a tool to see if the ball goes in or not, but I don’t like the little things that we analyze.

“VAR for things in the region, for things very defined and well-informed. Players, coaches, fans and journalists need to be very clear about what we’re playing, not that there are a thousand opinions because people don’t know what’s going on. We can talk for a thousand hours about VAR and there will never be a consensus because football is neither black nor white. But there are things.

“To jump, a player must use his arms; he can’t play without his arms attached to his body. You have to be sensitive when deciding and when you decide, logical decisions are not made for those of us who have played football.

Why he is against the European Super League

“Look, I like competitions if there is truth and sporting merit. I come from Madrid and I have nothing against Madrid and not agreeing does not mean being against them. What I see is that a player like me, who started playing at Sporting, as is the case with the Super League, will never have the opportunity to play there. My dream has always been to play in the Champions Leaguebecause I saw it on TV and I said, “I want to be like them.”

“So the Super League, if I understand correctly, does not allow a player like me who starts at Sporting at 22 to have access to the highest competition. Do you think this is a competition I should support when I have gone through the other process? And what about the national championships? They will kill them. What is happening with Osasuna or the rest of the teams? What about youth or women’s football? However, I cannot agree with a competition like the Super League and I never will.

His relationship with Florentino Perez

“It’s a relationship of respect and admiration, but at the same time there are a lot of things we don’t agree on. Even when I was a player, I didn’t agree and I told him so. And if I have to tell you something you don’t like, I’ll tell you. I am not marrying anyone and that has caused me a lot of problems, but thank God I am free and living a life in which I do not need to lick anyone. I am wrong? Yes, but I am responsible for my actions and my statements.

“He is the president of the club that I support and of which I am a member. It was the president who brought me to Madrid and he didn’t expel me, but he told me that now you are leaving. We have a politically and sportingly correct relationship.

Was he surprised by Jude Bellingham?

“I was surprised by the adaptation, but not by the quality because I knew it. It is logical that when you arrive at a club you have to adapt, but he did it and everything was very easy and good for the club and for him.

Would Bellingham be part of the Galactico starting lineup (with Figo, Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo)?

“Maybe not, but you never know…just kidding.” I don’t know. We had what we had, a wonderful generation, we had a great team. Players like him always have room.

The Negreira case

“The ‘Negreira case’ must have consequences because it is very serious”

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