A lie is at the heart of one of the most scandalous transfers in the history of football – the transfer of Luis Figo from Barcelona to Real (Madrid).
This became clear from the large-scale documentary “The Figo Affair: The Signing of the Century”, which premiered on the Netflix streaming platform on Thursday evening.
The tape also features then-Barcelona president Joan Gaspar and Real Madrid boss Florentino Perez, as well as Pep Guardiola, who was Figo’s best friend at Barcelona.
At the heart of the bombastic deal, as well as the main actors in the 104-minute film, are two Portuguese – Figo’s friend – Paulo Futre, and the star’s agent – Jose Veiga.
It was Futre who Florentino Pérez first contacted. The two see each other in a restaurant in Madrid, and during dinner Futre calls Vega to tell him about the offer.
On the other hand – as soon as the impresario learns what it is about, one hangs up because she thinks it’s a joke.
“However, I stayed with the phone to my ear and pretended to continue the conversation. During those 30 or 40 seconds, I was actually frantically thinking about what version to come up with, and I was actually lying to Perez,” Foutre recounts in the film.
The Real boss is oblivious to the scene and really thinks the two Portuguese are negotiating the deal. He then announces that if the transfer becomes a fact, the commission to the intermediaries will be in the amount of 6 million euros. An amount that makes Vega still realize that this is not a hidden camera, but a chance for the biggest transfer of his time.
Figo himself also accepts the financial part, but he tries to get an even higher salary from Barcelona in order not to move to Real. The player denies this in the film. However, he admits that if the deal had fallen through, there would have been a €30m penalty for Real.
The rest, as they say, is history. Figo said yes to Real and caught the plane to Madrid in 2000, becoming the most hated figure for Barcelona fans. Who do not miss a good opportunity to remind him at any moment with heaps of threats, insults and insults with all kinds of objects – from golf balls to a severed pig’s head.