Luis Figo has revealed a lack of recognition from the Barcelona hierarchy prompted his infamous move to Real Madrid in 2000.
The former Portugal international was the subject of one of the most controversial transfers in football history when he crossed the El Clasico divide at the turn of the century, moving from the Camp Nou to the Bernabeu for a then-world record £37.2m.
The move only intensified an already bitter rivalry between Barca and Real, with Figo the focal point of ugly scenes – most notably of which saw a pig’s head thrown onto the pitch – on his return to Catalonia.
“My departure from Barca wore me out a lot. I had a lot of pressure,” the 2000 Ballon d’Or winner told La Liga’s official website.
“At some point I thought no, but it’s that it was not just the sporting and economic part, but rather that it affected more people.
“You have moments in which you doubt, in which you think about whether you are going to do it or not, until you take the step and there is no longer a way back.
“In the end, as is the case in all professions, if you do not feel recognised one hundred per cent, and I do not mean by the public, but rather by the people that manage the club, if you have other offers you think about changing. And that is what happened.”