The world came after Cruyff

The world came after Cruyff, and Figo quickly flew to the top, while the rest failed. Season-1995/96 was not a collective success, but a personal triumph of the Portuguese. The first “El Clasico” ended in a draw, but in the second leg of “Real” was a bit with a score of 3-0 – one of these goals was scored by the Portuguese, whose reputation was inexorably growing.

It was Euro-1996, which only strengthened the star status of Figo, which was part of the “golden generation” of the national team, where Rui Costa and Joao Pintu performed. However, they were disappointed: defeat from the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals marked the beginning of a series of unexpected failures of the team, which was predicted greatness.

The new coach was Bobby Robson, and Barcelona added new talents, among them were Luis Enrique, Ronaldo and Vitor Bahia, and from Italy Hristo Stoichkov returned.

After the civil war atmosphere, the fans were only happy about the changes – at last they believed in something good. And let the replay of the “Real” did not immediately turn out, finally returned the relevance of their confrontations – this is the strain, which Madrid began to forget.


In the league did not turn out all, but in the cups there was noticeable progress. The UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was won against PSG and the Spanish Cup was taken after the dramatic final in extra time. Figo scored twice – including the winning goal.

Despite the success, Robson quickly moved, and Ronaldo moved to the “Inter”. Unchanged was only Figo, who was gaining more and more popularity and personified all the good things that happened to “Barca”, whose new mentor was the harsh Louis Van Gaal.

A year later, Figo celebrated the double as a captain, and his partner was the great Rivaldo. Finally came the results, but the audience wanted a brighter game – with the Dutch player scoring 24 goals and conceding eight goals more than the previous season. As always with van Gaal, the team was more functional and less effective. And soon political strife returned.