Figo hopeful of FIFA’s future under Infantino

"We share the same ideas about what FIFA needs to get back the credibility that an organisation which runs global football should have. I hope that he (Infantino) can change everything," said Figo.

Pitching for futsal... Portuguese soccer legend Luis Figo.   -  Vivek Bendre

Luis Figo is hopeful that the corruption-hit FIFA will get better under president Giovanni Infantino.

“Infantino was the candidate I supported. He also supported me when I was the candidate. Basically we share the same ideas about what FIFA needs to get back the credibility that an organisation which runs global football should have. I hope that he can change everything,” he said, talking on the sidelines of Premier Futsal, a five-a-side indoor football competition in India on Tuesday.

READ: >Luis Figo launches Premier Futsal in India

Figo, who played for FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan, was in the FIFA presidential race. But he withdrew his candidature ahead of the FIFA elections, which Infantino won.

Explaining the withdrawal, the former Portuguese playmaker said: “I had no chance to win a normal election in a democratic way.”

He was, however, made the president of Premier Futsal. “I did not know about (the feasibility of) futsal here till my partners made me aware of football’s popularity in India and the scope for futsal.”

The tournament will bring together 56 top futsal players from 21 countries with each team comprising three international players, one international marquee soccer player and one Indian player. Each squad will have 12 players.

“I know about the Indian Super League through some of my friends who have played it and others willing to come here in future,” Figo said.

He said that five-a-side football paved the way for his entry into the game. “There was a futsal pitch behind my house and I played with friends. I believe the skills developed in futsal helped me later as a professional (in football). Most of the world’s top pros started with street football, playing five-a-side games.”