The legends of Real Madrid’s first galactico reign are constantly hovering around the club today. Raul, Roberto Carlos, Zidane, Solari, and Guti all are working in or around the club in some capacity — some as media, and some as personnel. None of that is a secret. And while players like Hierro, Morientes, Salgado, Ronaldo, and Figo are not directly working with the club, they stick to their guns and give their two cents — always fluttering closely.
Here are some quotes that have surfaced from Luis Figo and Michel Salgado in the past 24-48 hours.
Luis Figo, on his transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid, in an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo...
I thought that Barcelona were not treating me properly by not paying me according to my importance at the club. The chance of joining Real Madrid came up but the directors of Barcelona assumed I was bluffing them.
I think they later used the fact that I was leaving to show they had financial problems. In the end, when I already had a deal with Real Madrid, it’s true they agreed to give me what I was asking for and there was a chance for me to stay. But it was too late and I ended up going to Real Madrid to avoid problems for my agent, who had a commitment with them.
On his return to the Camp Nou as a Real Madrid player...
It was a significant game for me, as it made me much more mature. I was probably the only player in the world who had 100,000 people together just against him. My build-up for that match was exactly the same as it always was.
My only concern was to play football and do my part. But of course I was a bit worried that I could be harmed, because you never know if there’s some crazy guy who will do something stupid.
On Del Bosque’s tough task as a coach...
In our first season, with Vicente del Bosque as coach, things went well for us – we won almost everything. Things went wrong the next season, especially when some directors started to get involved in technical issues, using their influence to affect the players with non-football issues.
On the best full-backs he’s ever faced...
Roberto Carlos and Bixente Lizarazu. I had some intense duels with both and some of them were historical. They were two very fast and aggressive players and it was hard to beat them.
On how to stop his insanely good dribbling, and how his style compares to Zidane and Ronaldo...
A player can usually figure out if he will have a good game in the first minutes of a match. When you start with one or two good things, you will be more confident and everything will come to you easier. There are no secrets to dribbling. My gravity point is lower than Ronaldo’s or Zidane’s, so my dribbling is shorter because of that. Ronaldo normally dribbles faster and Zizou had a wider step dribbling.
On the false rivalry between him and Beckham...
Yes, it was something totally made up by the press... I laughed a lot at those stories. People wrote things without even knowing what’s happening in the dressing room. I’ve always had a great relationship with David and now that we are both in the same city, although at different clubs, we are still in touch.
He’s a good person who is easy to deal with. Some people also said that Zidane never passed me the ball and I didn’t pass to him, but when they looked at the statistics they realised that we were the players who actually passed the most to each other.
Michel Salgado, on the need to win a domestic cup...
"He (Zidane) could be the man who makes history winning two Champions Leagues back to back, and it is also important at the same time to win La Liga as we miss it," Salgado told Omnisport at a FIFA Legends event in Bahrain.
"We've won just one in the last 10 years and I think it would be important for the club to win it again.
"One thing is to be successful at Europe, something which delights us, but we should try to dominate in Spain too because the fans deserve it.
"To sum up, Zidane's work is wonderful, he has been able to lift trophies within just one year and I think it is a period of joy for the club.
"The fans love the manager as they used to do before, and he can get trophies for the club too."
On Zidane’s man-management skills...
"It is difficult to say what the secret is. There are many things together," he added.
"He arrived in a very difficult period when a new project had just started with Rafa Benitez. It didn't work and the mentality was quite pessimistic.
"The key for Zidane is the good impact he made on the players. They trust him and he got control of the dressing room.
"The players rely on him and winning the Champions League after five months gives you extra energy and he took advantage of it."
Random quote on the Champions League final, from Andres Iniesta...
"Madrid and Juve are just finalists for the Champions League, but you lose interest when you're not playing the final,"