Figo: Why I really left Barcelona for Real


Luis Figo has finally revealed why he really left FC Barcelona for Real Madrid in a then world-record switch that's widely considered as one of the most controversial transfers in football history.

The legendary Portugal winger joined Real from their fierce LaLiga rivals in a €62-million transfer after president Florentino Perez activated his release clause.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the biggest transfers in Real Madrid history

In a move that marked the beginning of the Galactico era in Madrid, Figo admitted on an Instagram Live session with Fabio Cannavaro that he had the option of moving to Serie A with Lazio too.

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"It was a difficult and important decision, to go away from a city that has given you so much," the 2000 Ballon d'Or winner revealed.

"But I needed recognition from those who manage the club and when you don't receive it... When you have another proposal, you think about it.

"It all started like this. The president said to me 'bring the money and leave', if someone tells you this, you'll get angry, especially if you are trying to give everything.

"That summer I could also have gone to Lazio, they were strong and had the money, they wanted to pay my release clause."

After winning seven major titles in five years with Los Blancos, Figo moved to Italy with Internazionale on a free transfer, where he helped the Nerazzurri lift four the league four times and a Coppa Italia.