Home » ARTICLES » “I would have liked to go”- Portuguese legend reveals how Liverpool messed up the chance to sign him in 2005

“I would have liked to go”- Portuguese legend reveals how Liverpool messed up the chance to sign him in 2005

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By Shrishh Attavar

Luis Figo talks about his potential transfer to Liverpool and how the club botched the chance to sign him

Back in 2005, after Luis Figo’s contract at Real Madrid expired, Liverpool approached the player to sign for the Merseyside giants. However, a move was not possible and Figo went to Italy, to play for Inter Milan.

The right-winger is notoriously known for playing for both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. During his ten-year stay in Spain, he scored 57 goals and got 92 assists for Los Blancos in 245 appearances.

However, it was in Barcelona that the Portuguese grew to fame. In 248 appearances for the Catalonian club, he scored 45 goals and got 58 assists. After his transfer from Barca to Real, he was not welcomed fondly at Camp Nou. Several things, including a pig head, were thrown at him, and he was called a traitor among other things.

Luis Figo during his time at Inter Milan.
Luis Figo during his time at Inter Milan. (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking of Liverpool’s failure to sign him back in 2005, before he moved to Inter Milan instead, here is what he told The Guardian:

“I would have liked to go. We talked a lot. One week they say, ‘No, wait, we can’t do it just now’ and then they sign a player. Then, ‘Wait a few more days, we need to sort this first’ and they sign another. I think: ‘Bloody hell, are you messing with me, or what?’ Inter appear, I go to Milan, meet [the club president Massimo] Moratti and take the decision. I loved Inter, it was exactly what I needed.”

Figo and Liverpool: A match that could not happen

It seems like a case of only a certain section of Liverpool’s board wanting to sign him back then. Rafael Benitez was the club manager back then.

The 2005 summer transfer window, even if it did not feature Figo for the Reds, saw the arrival of Peter Crouch, who was fairly successful for the Reds and arguably built a cult following for himself among the Reds fans.

It would have certainly been a statement signing back then, but in hindsight, we could say many things. But the fact of the matter is, Figo was the best player in the world during the time and could have proven to be successful in the Red of Merseyside.

Figo talks about a failed transfer to Liverpool
Figo in the El Clasico for Real Madrid. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

That particular season in itself was good for the club though, beating Inter’s arch-rivals AC Milan in the final of the UEFA Champions League to win the title for the fourth time. One could argue that the addition of Figo would have been beneficial, but it is what it is.

Presently, Figo is working in FIFA as an Advisor of Management. He is a player that could have changed the fortunes of this club had he joined during that time – even though he was arguably not the same player as he was during his time at Barcelona.

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