Luis Figo turned the abuse he received from Barcelona fans into a bit of marketing magic with Coca Cola.
Luis Figo made the most controversial transfers that can be made in the footballing world.
It was the summer of 2000, and Barcelona hero Figo was sold to arch-rivals Real Madrid for 60 million Euros.
It is a move that is unforgivable by the respective clubs fans.
The customary treatment of the returning player goes much further than verbal abuse.
In fact, Figo who was the designated corner taker. The Catalonian fans saw this as an opportunity to hurl objects at their former player.
One of the objects sent the Portuguese way was a bottle of Coca Cola, who just happened to be sponsored by the soft drink giant at the time.
In an interview with Marca Figo reveals all.
“I was in charge of taking the corners and I was focused because I wanted to do my job in the most professional way possible.”
“But there came a time when I couldn’t because the amount of objects heading my way were such that I couldn’t describe.”
“All I remember is that it favoured me because, at that time, Coca-Cola sponsored me and I saw a bottle on the grass and picked it up as if I was shooting an ad.”
While Figo’s sponsors were thrilled, it was not until 24 hours later the player realised the severity of the abuse being hurled his way.
“The next day I had the opportunity to see in the newspapers that whiskey bottles and pigs heads’ were thrown.”
“There was a bit of everything.”
What a guy, a footballing genius on the field and a marketing guru off it!