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Thursday, January 24, 2008
Figo confirms retirement is most likely option

MILAN, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Inter Milan midfielder Luis Figo has said he is likely to retire at the end of the season but could be tempted to stay in the game if the right offer comes up.

His Inter deal runs out in June and media reports have linked the 35-year-old with a move to Major League Soccer in the United States where former Real Madrid team mate David Beckham now plays.

The former Portugal captain, close to fitness after breaking his leg in November, was due to end his career at Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad after signing a contract in January 2007.

However, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year later pulled out of the deal and re-signed for Serie A champions Inter.

'Right now what I want is to recuperate ... and return to play this last part of the season. Then it depends on how I feel. I'll decide what I'm going to do next year and if I stop. It depends on opportunities to stay too,' he told Reuters on Thursday.

'My thinking was to retire after this year and of course then I'm going to have more time for other things.'

One of those future commitments is being an ambassador for the Stop TB Partnership. He hopes his involvement, as well as being the main character in a educational comic book about the disease, can help save lives.

'It is an honour for me to be part of this team. If I can help to inform and make sure people don't ignore the sickness in the world, I'll be very happy,' he said.

Figo will also be thrilled if Portugal win Euro 2008 after losing in the final to Greece when Euro 2004 was played on home soil. He quit the national side after the 2006 World Cup.

'They have a good team and of course they are one of the best national teams in Europe and in this competition. My hope is that they can do well, but trying to win is not easy,' he said.

Inter are seven points clear in Serie A and soon face Liverpool in the Champions League last 16. They also drew 2-2 with Juventus in an Italian Cup quarter-final first leg on Wednesday with media speculating about a treble this term.

Figo said there was no reason why they could not do it.

'Of course our first aim professionally-speaking is to win as many titles as possible this year,' he said.




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