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Luis Figo’s Love of the Game

Mon 25th Nov 2013 | IT & Technology

Former international footballer Luís Figo has been appointed the Ambassador of the 2014 Champions League Final in Lisbon, Portugal.

He is also managing his Foundation and has recently founded a free, private members’ networking site for the Professional Football Industry. Luís played as a midfielder for Sporting CP, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Internazionale. He won 127 caps for the Portuguese national team and was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year while being named amongst the FIFA 100. The Portuguese legend also won the Ballon d’Or in 2000. Figo retired from football on 31 May 2009.

We caught up with Luís this month:

You retired from football in 2009. What was the highlight of an amazing career in which you won everything at club level?

Well one highlight is very difficult to choose. I was lucky to have some very important moments during my career. In terms of titles, club competitions are always important and then there was the Champions League that I had the chance to win with Real Madrid. In terms of leagues, Spain and Italy. I think the best moment is always the moment you win an important trophy with your team. Then come the individual awards that I had the luck to receive. I am very honoured to have them.

On an individual level, what was the highlight?

The Golden Ball and the World Player of the Year, because a very short list of players have received them and they are the highlight of a player’s career. But I think the most important is always how you play like a team during the season.

In your opinion, who is the best player now?

That’s very subjective and depends on so many things and the decision of probably 150 people. I like players like Messi, Cristiano. I also like Ribéry and Robben because they play in the same position as me. Iniesta as well. Right now five, six players can win that award.

You have also been nominated the Ambassador for the 2014 Champions League Final. How did that feel?

It is a great honour. This is the most important football competition in the world in terms of clubs and also the final will take place in Portugal.

You have taken part in the Pro-Am tournament of the Portugal Masters, do you play more golf than football these days?

(Figo laughs) I definitely do not play golf as good as football.

You have also founded Network90. Can you please tell us a bit more about it?

Network90 is a freemium social networking platform, which provides free networking as well as a range of bespoke premium features. We started Network90 to provide the global professional football industry with a private communication throughout the industry. It is aimed at Players, current and retired, Club and Association Officials, Agents as well as media and business people working in the industry.

How is Network90 different from other networking platforms out there?

This is a private members site for people connected to the world of professional football. This means it’s a private and secure environment where everyone in the professional business, including high profile sports personalities, can connect, network, do business. It is also a great place for retired pros like myself to reconnect with old teammates and friends in the business. As I mentioned, it’s a real gathering place for our industry.

So who can we find on Network90?

In short I’d say, thousands of players, coaches, team managers, scouts, agents, clubs and sports businessmen. I think that probably covers the description for most of the membership.

What did you mean by Network90 being a great place to do business?

Network90 has some premium services designed specifically to assist the business prospects for all those connected to the pro football industry. There is the Live Players Transfer List, where thousands of Clubs, Agents and Players are trading. It’s very popular because it’s fast, easy, and a great resource for industry professionals. There is also a Required Players Section where everyone can see what players the industry is looking for.

We also have a Network90 Players’ Lounge, which provides an open forum platform for members to reach out to the entire membership. This allows everyone from any part of the football business to promote opportunities, find partners and get the inside track from industry experts.

Could you give us an example of topics that are being discussed in the Players’ Lounge?

There is a huge variety of topics such as people looking for business partners for specific projects or getting help in meeting specific player requirements as well as seeking assistance in new job opportunities. The Lounge is busy and is doing a great job in connecting the right people and bringing them together. 

Is there more?

Yes, we have a vast Jobs Section with all the latest industry jobs and a great news section keeping members up to date on all the latest developments in the football business. Organisations, Companies, Clubs, Associations and HR firms can also list job vacancies on Network90 and reach our highly targeted audience of sports professionals, it’s a valuable space for them. 

HOW CAN YOU SIGN UP?

There are two routes: you just visit www.NETWORK90.com click ‘sign up’ and put in a few details.

We check and vet all applications to determine that they are part of the professional football industry, we quickly send a welcome mail and that’s it. You are good to go. If you know an existing member just ask them, they can send you an invitation directly from within the site, failing that just check with your personal contacts or try asking on Twitter, you’ll know someone who is a member.

Interview taken from the latest issue of fcbusiness magazine, available from today.

Image: Action Images

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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