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Figo relishes all-Spain Cup semi

SoccerNews in La Liga, UEFA Champions League 25 Apr 2011

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Luis Figo believes the Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona has the potential to go down in football history.

Figo, a Ballon d’Or winner in 2000, played for both Barca and their fierce rivals Real, collecting Liga titles with both clubs.

The former Portugal international won the Champions League in 2002 with Real after overcoming Barca in the semi-finals.

And the 38-year-old is anticipating another mouth-watering clash between the two Spanish giants.

“They are both coming into this semi-final very strongly,” Figo said.

“I think they’re the two best teams in the world at the moment. That’s why this UEFA Champions League semi-final will go down in the history of football.”

“I think Barcelona play the better football at the moment,” he added.

“They have a very well defined philosophy, all the players have impressive skill and they know how to play together.”

“Football always goes in cycles. We had some years with Madrid when we won everything. Now it seems Barcelona are doing that.”

“It depends on the different generations. Right now, Barca have players who play fantastically well together and who know how to fit into the system. That makes them very hard to beat.”

While Figo credits Barcelona with playing the better football in recent years, he knows Real have a major off-field asset this season in Jose Mourinho.

Figo was part of the coaching team that guided Inter Milan to Champions League success under Mourinho last season.

And he feels his countryman could provide Real with the edge in the all-important tie.

“Jose Mourinho has been very successful,” Figo said.

“His teams do well because of the way he gets them to play so I think his presence definitely will help Madrid.”

“He’s achieved a lot of victories playing in a certain way, so there is always a possibility he can continue to be successful and to win more.”

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