Luis Figo born on November 4, 1972 in Lisbon and will be celebrating this 47th birthday on Monday. Figo is one of the very few players to have played for both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Figo is regarded as one of the best players of his generation and is renowned for his creativity and play-making skills. His tally of 106 assists is the second-most in La Liga history, only behind Lionel Messi. Figo had a career very few players can dream of having, winning four La Liga titles, four Serie A titles, one Champions League along with many other accolades in his 29 years as a professional footballer.
In the summer of 2000, Figo decided to leave Catalan giants Barcelona and joined their arch-rivals Real Madrid. This was the most expensive transfer in football history at that time along with being one of the most controversial ones. After five successful years in the capital of Madrid, where he won the Ballon d’Or and UEFA champions league, Figo moved to Italian giants Inter Milan in 2005. He won four Serie A titles with the Nerrazuri before retiring in 2009. On the occasion of the Portuguese Footballing Icon’s birthday, we take a look at the top four goals scored by him in his illustrious career.
Portugal vs England
This goal against England in the group stages of UEFA Euro 2000 is one of Figo's best. He picks up the ball at half-line and runs around 20-yards unchallenged and just when the English players come to close him down, Figo strikes with his right foot right into the top left-hand corner, leaving the keeper helpless.
Figo's goal against England in UEFA Euro 2000
Barcelona vs Fiorentina
Figo scored this goal against Fiorentina in the 1990/00 Champions League group stage. He went past four Fiorentina players with relative ease and then unleashed a right-foot shot past the keeper, beating him at his near post.
Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo
Figo's goal against Celta in the 2000/01 season is one of the best individual goals you’ll ever see. Figo receives the ball in Madrid's final third and then flicks it over onrushing Celta player, before knocking the ball past the other two players and then shot the ball past the keeper in the bottom right corner.
Watch Figo's solo goal against Celta Vigo
Real Madrid vs Espanyol
One of the best free-kicks Figo has scored in his career came against Espanyol in the 2002/03 season. He curled the ball from about 35 yards into the top right corner, the keeper got a hand to it but such was the accuracy of the shot that he could not stop the ball from going into the net.
Luis Figo had a spectacular career at the club level which very few can match, but he could not replicate it with the Portuguese national team as international glory always eluded him. He came close to winning an international trophy in 2004 when Portugal reached the finals of the European Championship but lost to Greece in the end. Figo is currently a footballing advisor and an ambassador with UEFA.