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Portuguese icon Luis Figo today become the latest surprise candidate – and the second ex- international player – to throw his hat into the ring to become FIFA president.Buy cheap fifa15 coins on FIFA Coins. The former Sporting, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan forward joins ex-French international David Ginola, very much a token contender, in a bid to replace Sepp Blatter at the end of May.
All potential candidates have to register their interest in standing before tomorrow's deadline and will then be subject to a strict vetting process.
One of the greatest players of his generation and his country's most-capped player, Figo made 127 appearances for Portugal and won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2002. He was FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 and took his country to the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup.
Fluent in five languages, unlike Ginola he has long been regarded as having the kind of stature, gravitas and personality to play a leading role in football administration.
In fact he has already served on UEFA's Football Committee, from 2011 – 2015, and although running for FIFA president quite so soon after retiring six years ago will be regarded as somewhat premature, nevertheless he confirmed that he has obtained the necessary five nominations from national associations to support his candidacy.
"In recent weeks, months, and even years, I have seen the image of FIFA deteriorate and as I speak too many people in football – to players, managers and Association Presidents – so many of those people have told me that something has to be done," Figo, 42, said in a statement.
"Throughout my career I have worked at all levels of the game. This has given me a unique insight and understanding that I feel can enhance the discussion about the future of FIFA and the future of football."
"Football has given me so much during my life and I want to give something back to the game. I look at the reputation of FIFA right now and I don't like it. Football deserves better.
"I am convinced that FIFA's position as the governing body of world football is absolutely vital. For this to be preserved it is essential that we see change at the top and we set FIFA on a new course which is all about football and less about politics.
"This is why I am looking forward to getting on the road in the coming weeks, to explain in detail my programme and my vision. My aim is to nourish my plans with the insights and ideas of the National Associations, to listen to their concerns and to provide a forum for a new approach to FIFA which is focussed on FIFA's stakeholders rather than just FIFA.
"Football runs through my veins. I am a man of football, inside out and I am ready to help bring about change."
FIFA vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, Dutch football chief Michael van Praag and former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne are the main would-be presidential challengers to Blatter - and on paper seem likely to command more support than Figo.
But he is a highly respected voice and told CNN: "If you search FIFA on the internet you see the first word that comes out: scandal -not positive words. It's that we have to change first and try to improve the image of FIFA.
"Last year was the World Cup, I was in Brazil and I saw the reaction of all the fans regarding the image of FIFA and I think something has to be changed.
"Change in leadership, governance, transparency and solidarity, so I think it's the moment for that."