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Luis Figo talks Mbappe, Bellingham, Florentino Perez, Real Madrid presidency

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Luis Figo will eternally be remembered as the player who left Spain in flames after leaving Barcelona for Real Madrid at the peak of their rivalry.

The Portuguese superstar signed for the Catalans in 1995 and spent five years at Barcelona, even becoming one of their most loved players.

Florentino Perez, however, promised to bring the player to Madrid should he be elected president, and managed to pull the deal through.

Figo thus moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2000 where he spent the next five years of his career winning all accolades and going down in history as one of the team’s best players.

Speaking to the media earlier this week, the club legend spoke in depth on a number of topics including his current relationship with the club, Real Madrid’s performance this season and some of the standout players.

Figo’s interview began with the club legend being quizzed on whether he had visited the new Santiago Bernabeu.

“I went because I have season tickets. If I don’t go, my daughters will go. I’ve been a member for more than 20 years,” he said.

Questioned on whether he saw himself as a potential manager of Real Madrid at any time in the future, the former Real Madrid star did not rule the possibility out.

“I never planned my projects and opportunities in my life. 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 that I ‘I will work to be this or that’ over the year,” he added.

Figo was then quizzed on why he did not see eye to eye with the Super League to which he responded by criticising the way the league is set up.

“Look, I like competitions if there is honesty and sporting merit. I am from Madrid and I have nothing against Madrid and not agreeing does not mean that I am against it.”

“What I see is that a player like me, who started playing at Sporting, the way the Premier League is set up, I would never have the opportunity to play,” he added.

“My dream was always to play in the Champions League because I saw it on TV and dreamt of being at that level,” Figo concluded on the topic.

The interview then moved in the direction of Figo’s relationship with Florentino Perez, and the player revealed that matters were not rosy between the two parties.

“There are many things in which Florentino Perez and I differ, and when I was a player and did not agree with him, I told him that.”

“He is the president of the club that I support and of which I am a member. He is the president, he brought me to Madrid and has told me that you are leaving now. We have a politically and sportingly correct relationship,” he continued.

Luis Figo Real Madrid
Luis Figo backs Real Madrid to win the title. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Laureus)

Real Madrid have been in fine form this season, losing only twice and sitting atop the league standings. Speaking on the team’s performance and attitude this season, he said,

“I see them well, and I think they decide matches irrespective of the difficulty. They have a quality team, young, hungry for titles and with a great coach. I think they will be the champion this year.”

Addressing the elephant in the room, Kylian Mbappe’s arrival at Real Madrid, Figo was asked to give advice to the young new signing.

“To be happy, that’s the most important thing in life. I looked for my happiness and I was lucky enough to come to Real Madrid and be there for five years.”

Figo was then asked to give his two cents on Jude Bellingham who has enjoyed a fine start to life in Madrid. He revealed that he was not surprised by the player’s quality, stating,

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

A trick question followed immediately, asking if he saw Bellingham with a place in the Real Madrid side that boasted of him, Zidane, Ronaldo and Raul.

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

Source: MARCA

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid trailing Premier League heavyweights in UEFA club rankings

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Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

UEFA has announced its latest club rankings, based on the performance of each team in European competitions over the last five seasons, and despite winning the Champions League last season, Real Madrid trail Manchester City in these standings. 

It must be noted that the coefficients of these rankings are calculated purely on the basis of results in European competitions, without considering domestic league performance. The rankings are crucial as they determine the seedings in UEFA competition draws.

Top teams in UEFA rankings

This time, Manchester City haves outshone Real Madrid, topping the list with a coefficient of 123,000 points, while Real Madrid have 119,000 points. Bayern Munich complete the top three with a score of 108,000 points. 

Man City have been incredibly consistent since 2021, securing a Champions League title, reaching a final, and making it to a semi-final, which has propelled them to the top spot in the rankings.

Manchester City are above Real Madrid in UEFA club rankings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The competition between Manchester City and Real Madrid has been intense, especially in the Champions League. The two giants of European football have faced each other in four knockout ties since 2020, each winning two ties. 

Their consistent performances have solidified their status as the current powerhouses of European football.

What about the other La Liga teams?

Spanish football, particularly La Liga, is well-represented in these rankings. Alongside Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona are notable mentions. 

Villarreal, on their part, are in the 7th place after winning the Europa League in 2021 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2022. 

Atletico Madrid are positioned at 17th, just ahead of Barcelona, who is struggling to maintain its usual high ranking. 

Amidst all this, the English Premier League stands out as the dominant force in these rankings. Six of its teams are in the top 20, showcasing the strength and competitiveness of English football. 

The Italian League and the Bundesliga also have a strong presence, each contributing four teams to the top ranks.

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