Regret withdrawing from FIFA presidential race: Figo

Mumbai, April 5 (IANS) Portugal football legend Luis Figo on Tuesday said he regrets withdrawing from world football governing body FIFA’s presidential race but wished good luck to newly-elected chief Gianni Infantino.

The former Real Madrid and FC Barcelona star who withdrew from the race in May 2015, hoped that Infantino, who took over from former president Sepp Blatter, will deliver his best and bring back credibility to the governing body.

Infantino was elected president in Zurich in February earlier this year, replacing Blatter, who saw his reign come to an end amid allegations of corruption at FIFA.

“In that moment with my press release, I said I didn’t have any chance to win in a democratic way. So I announced to leave, it was not that someone was telling me. The facts and things that happened on the day of the Congress, I saw that I did not have any chance. But I regret it now,” Figo told reporters here.

Figo, the president of Premier Futsal, was here for the launch of the world’s first-ever multinational Futsal league, a franchise-based league will be played across eight cities in India from July 15 to July 24.

“I have hope on him (Infantino), because he is the person who I support. He was the one who helped me when I was a candidate at that time. So I think we share ideas what the organisation needs to get back the credibility. So I hope he can change everything,” he said.

The 43-year-old said that he is well aware of the Indian Super League (ISL) but is not interested to take up a coaching job sometime soon.

“I don’t have any licence to coach (in ISL). I am not thinking to be a coach right now. Right now since I have retired, I am not willing to take anything. I have heard about ISL, and I have lot of friends who have come here to play in ISL and will probably come in the future. I think that everything that helps to improve the game in the country must take place,” the former winger said.

The ex-Portugal international termed France, Italy, Spain, Germany and his country as favourites for the upcoming European Championship.

“Portugal has done well in the last editions. I think top players will always pressure, in all the games and all competitions. Ronaldo is the most important player. He has that pressure, I think he can hold it. He has played whole life in high level and he is used to that. We have a good team theoretically. France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal are favourites for the tournament,” he said.

When it came to picking his best teams in the Champions League, Figo named FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as favourites to clinch the trophy.

“Barcelona, Bayern, Real Madrid favourites to win Champions League. They have experience and they have more history in that competition,” Figo added.

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