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Figo to hang up his boots today

INTER Milan midfielder Luis Figo will bring his brilliant career to a close in the Serie A champion's season-ending game against Atalanta today.

"Tomorrow, May 31, 2009, will be my last Sunday as a footballer," the Portuguese player said in a statement.

The 36-year-old has won four league titles since joining Inter from Real Madrid in 2005, although he has not been a regular starter in the last two seasons, in part because of injuries.

There had been reports that Figo might accept one last lucrative deal to play in the Far East but he has instead opted to wind things up this weekend at the San Siro.

He started his career with Sporting, winning the Portuguese Cup in 1995 before his remarkable attacking talents prompted Barcelona to snap him up later that year.

Elsewhere, Chelsea captain John Terry has rejected claims made by former teammate Claude Makelele that he was responsible for present Inter coach Jose Mourinho being fired in September 2007 after a rift with the manager.

Makelele's comments were made in an autobiography published in France yesterday as Terry was preparing to captain Chelsea against Everton in the FA Cup final.

In "Claude Makelele - Tout Simplement," the midfielder stated that Mourinho and Terry fell out over playing time as the captain dealt with injury, and that the England defender subsequently asked for a transfer.

"I thought Mourinho was practically untouchable, but a lot of players had complained about him, notably John Terry," Makelele wrote. "When John Terry let his discontent be known to (Chief Executive Peter) Kenyon and asked him for an immediate transfer, (owner Roman) Abramovich reacted immediately: the departure of Terry was totally unimaginable, from the point of view of the supporters, the players or the club owners. Mourinho was packing his bags."

However, both Chelsea and Terry denied the claims from Makelele, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

"It has been claimed that John was in some way involved with the removal of Jose Mourinho as manager," said a statement from Terry's legal team. "This is categorically untrue."


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