Football fans can be a weird bunch. They are very loyal, passionate about their club and adore their players. Get on the wrong side of them and you will soon know about it!
Social media has given angry fans the platform to vent their frustrations after yet another poor performance from their team. If a player plays poorly, some bad abuse is sent that the whole world can see.
A bad performance can be quickly forgotten if a player then plays better in the next game. However, he will not be forgiven if he moves to one of his club’s biggest rivals. This week’s ‘Iconic moment’ sees the impact that a particular transfer had.
Portuguese international Luis Figo was one of the club’s star players in the late 90s. The site was filled with star names, but Figo was a different class. He had won five years in a row Portuguese player and was on his way to becoming the winner of the Ballon D’or in 2000.
In July 2000, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez made a bold attempt to sign Figo and bring him to Madrid. He made a bid of just over £ 50 million to Real’s biggest rivals, and the bid was accepted. The news of the move shocked the football world and seeing Figo being paraded around with a white Real Madrid shirt must have really hurt Barcelona fans.
Three months later, Figo made his first return to the Nou Camp as a Real Madrid player. In an already hostile atmosphere usually created for an El Classico match, the volume was ramped up every time the right number 7 touched the ball.
Figo was Real’s regular cornerback and did not shy away from taking them in this match. Many players would have avoided going over to the corner flag, especially since the pitches around the corners of the pitch at the Nou Camp are so close to the pitch.
Various missiles were thrown by Barca fans at the Portuguese, but he ignored it as best he could and just got on with taking the set piece. A cameraman captured a photo of Figo taking a corner with a pig’s head just a few feet away from him! It had been thrown at him by an angry Barcelona fan!
The image featured in many newspapers and really showed the impact of how a player moving to a bitter rival can have on fans.