White in tears. Honor the champions

“White in tears. Honor the champions. ” It was a nice day for fans of Barcelona. Gold Examples and the Spanish Cup were won in 11 days at the end of April 1998. The coronation of the new King of Catalonia took place. He was a captain, and now he became the football head of the state.

Johan Cruyff’s successor, Figo seemed the embodiment of all Catalonia. By his successes and charisma he became his; he was not born here, but by all accounts he was a real Catalan.

But two years passed, and all the love and adoration turned into an incandescent anger. We all know this story: in the Spanish capital a new project “galaktikos” was born, and Figo was summoned to the camp of the main enemies. In Catalonia, the news caused such a resonance that at the very moment the whole reputation of the Catalan was destroyed. About how he was loved in the “Barcelona”, forgotten in a moment.

Luis Figo. The cult of personality and its destruction Photo: These Football Times, Bleacher Report

To understand the reasons for the transition was difficult – especially considering that in Madrid he became one of many parts of the mechanism, while in “Barça” he was the main matador. A little more, and he would have been canonized forever, but he turned away from his second homeland. It seems that all the fans decided to forget about the fact that he had ever played the “Camp Nou”, but the pain of betrayal is still alive.

All this – the paradox of football, which is difficult to explain. The Portuguese was idealized like no other, but after his departure the antipiar reached such a climax that it is now even difficult to imagine it in the colors of Barcelona. Even if you find photos, it seems that the image is forever distorted.

But the Portuguese was not the first to betray his team like that. Earlier left Laudrup, but for some reason he was forgiven. He can be considered a former Barça player, but Figo does not.

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When Figo arrived in Barcelona in 1995 – a year after Laudrup’s departure – it was a quiet event without any aplomb. He was signed from Sporting for 2.2 million pounds, and he did not have a special status at that time, although he already managed to make sense of his failed transition to Serie A – then he took and pre-signed a contract with Juventus and Parma.

This was Cruyff’s last season in the team, and he gave him enough time to adapt to the new situation. The company he made a talented, but soon sold to Gheorghe Hadji, José María Baquero and the incredible but constantly traumatized Robert Prosinechka.

The mood in Catalonia was depressed: in the Example the team got the third place, in the Cup the final was lost to “Atletico”, and in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup blue-garnet was stopped by “Bavaria”. The great Dutchman left – largely because of the power struggle between the coach and the president, and not the results on the football field.