South Korea football player Lee Young-Pyo has declared that the Portuguese star player, Luis Figo, elected FIFA Player of the Year 2001/2002, proposed that both teams should play for a draw. Meanwhile in Lisbon, Figo is rumoured to be thinking of giving up his international career after the hostile reception the Portuguese team was given by the fans.
Lee Young-Pyo has stated that Luis Figo approached him at the start of the second half of the game and suggested that both teams “should play to facilitate a draw”, according to the official South Korean News Agency. Young-Pyo said that he had not understood at first, but only afterwards did he register what had been proposed. In the event, Korea won the game 1-0 and Portugal were eliminated from the competition.
Back in Lisbon and Oporto, the “Golden Generation” was received with a hail of insults and threats, ranging from “sons of whores” and “cuckolds” to “Shit!” and “Tin Generation”. The team manager, Antonio Oliveira, had to be manhandled into a vehicle to avoid an angry exchange with the fans, while his son was reported to have been involved in fighting.
According to rumour flying around Lisbon, but unsubstantiated as yet by any official organism, Luis Figo has declared to friends that he does not wish to play any more for the national team. It is not clear whether his disgust at the savage reception the team was given provoked the reported decision, or if it is due to injury and the wish to give his place to a younger generation of rising stars.
Now that the Portuguese football team has come home after two ignominious defeats against supposedly inferior teams (USA and S. Korea), the truth about the atmosphere in the Portuguese dressing room begins to transpire. It appears that team manager, Antonio Oliveira, was not speaking to his deputy coaches and that there was a chasm between the technical team and the group of players.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969