The news has been confirmed that Luis Figo will not be playing in this weekend's Legends between Barcelona and Juventus.
Figo was set to play for a combined Barcelona and Juventus legends side when they play the veteran World All-Star legends in an exhibition game on Friday. Billed as the Ultimate Champions Match, it pits some of the best of the veterans from world football history in a competitive game.
Figo at the Nou Camp
Figo played for Barca between 1995 and 2000, featuring in 249 games for the Catalan giants and scoring 45 goals in all competitions. Despite playing the most games of his career at the club, he left in July 2000 and went to rivals Real Madrid, to much national furore.
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The Portuguese winger became a hated figure as he went on to play five very successful seasons in Madrid, winning La Liga twice. He also won the UEFA Champions League in 2002, and picked up the Ballon d'Or immediately after his move, as well as being named Fifa World Player of the Year in 2001.
Fans burnt effigies in Barcelona after his departure and it seems his 'betrayal' has not been forgotten.
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Despite well deserving his place in the Barcelona and Juventus game, and being initially named in the team, the BBC have reported that the attacker has in fact been blocked from playing. UEFA announced it this week, shortly before the game is due to take place, however, the decision was taken after being officially requested by Barcelona.
The news of the decision was then shared on Twitter by the club.
Figo has not commented on the decision via Twitter, though many fans have. Although the majority of these have been behind the Barca decision, many have commented against the choice to block the one-time greatest player in the world.
FIGO HAS BALLS
Generally it is probably best for Figo, who did play in the UEFA Champions League Legends team earlier this year, to stay away from this fixture. Despite such an important part of his life taking place at Barca, it's hard to see how his connection to the club could have weathered the onslaught he has taken from Catalonia over the intervening years.
It's just a shame for Figo that Real didn't make it to the final.
PLAYERS ACTUALLY ATTENDING
Other previous legends who will be playing include Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Del Piero, Deco and Eric Abidal. For the World All-Stars (whatever that means), you will also be able to spot ex-Arsenal legends Jens Lehmann and Robert Pires, as well as Clarence Seedorf, Christian Karembeu, Steve McManaman (really?) and Cafu.
Both teams will be missing Figo therefore, but Barca/Juve have also been unable to recruit players such as Vialli, Baggio, Ronaldo, Romario, Stoichkov or the famously headstrong Zidane.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
The Ultimate Champions Match will take place outside the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Friday, June 5. It marks, of course, the warm-up to the last and biggest fixture of the season, when the two current day teams will face in each other in Germany and play for the Champions League trophy on Saturday June 6.
For news and updates on what to expect in the final, have a look at our Barca v Juve head-to-head video run-down.
Who do you think is going to emerge triumphant in the Champions League final this weekend? Let us know in the comments box below.
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