Luis Figo: Perez likes 'yes men' at Real
Luis Figo has again criticised Florentino Perez, saying that he was forced out of Real Madrid in 2005 as the club president did not like people with the "personality" to stand up to him.
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Figo famously moved to Madrid from Barcelona as Florentino's prize first signing when taking charge in summer 2000, went on to win many trophies including the 2002 Champions League, but left under a cloud in 2005 for Inter Milan as newer galacticos continued to arrive.
The former Portugal captain -- who earlier this month claimed that Perez forced him out of the club -- told El Larguero that his relationship with Florentino had worsened because he was not a 'yes man' happy to go along with whatever he was told.
"I am not a 'yes, sir', I do not say yes all time," Figo said. "When someone has personality and the other does not like listening to certain things maybe the relationship deteriorates because of that. I am not saying I am a perfect person, just that things did not end well. That is it, and you move on, everyone has their own life to live."
Asked if he could see himself returning to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in some role, just like former teammates Zinedine Zidane and Fernando Morientes, Figo said he thought it unlikely at the moment.
"In the future maybe I will return to Madrid, but at this moment I do not think it is possible," he said. "I will always say what I think, that is the most sincere way to act and I have always done that. You do not give me a contract so that I applaud. When I left I said to [Perez], I am going because I am not playing. He said it was not the case [that he was not playing due to presidential order to favour other players], but I am sure. But this is the past, we should move on."
Such continuing public criticism by Figo has raised eyebrows in Spain, particularly as Perez regularly talks about his close relationship with other clients of Portuguese 'super agent' Jorge Mendes, including current Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and former Bernabeu boss Jose Mourinho.
Some pundits have even speculated over whether Figo was positioning himself to be part of a rival presidential ticket down the line. This possibility came up during his latest interview, but only in jest.
"Eight years from now I could be president," Figo said. "I just need to find the deposit required. But I am just joking now."