Luis Figo announces international retirement

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

Portugal's star midfielder Luis Figo has announced his retirement from international football, although he has left the door open for a return.

Luis Figo announces international retirement
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Lisbon:

Portugal's star midfielder Luis Figo has announced his retirement from international football, although he has left the door open for a return. The 31 year-old confirmed his decision in a written statement, and will now focus on his club career with Spanish giants Real Madrid. After playing a record equalling 110 times and scoring 31 goals for Portugal, Luis Figo has decided it is time to walk away from his national team, saying simply that, "At the moment I feel a need to stop playing." 'Golden generation' Figo has been part of Portugal's so called 'golden generation' ever since he teamed with the likes of Rui Costa and Fernando Couto to win the 1991 World Youth Cup. In an encouraging sign for his legion of Portuguese fans, he did hint that he could return to the set-up in the future by adding in his written statement that, "I have never refused to serve my country and no one can predict the future." The right-sided midfielder's last match for his country was the Euro 2004 final loss to Greece in July. During the tournament, which Portugal hosted, Brazilian born coach Luiz Felipe Scolari denied falling out with Figo, despite substituting the veteran several times. The 2001 World Player of the Year's decision follows a similar announcement from former French captain Zinedine Zidane last week, with both now determined to seek honours with their club team Real Madrid. Portugal will now begin their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign against Latvia on September 4, without one of their greatest ever players. (AP)

Topics : Football
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