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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
Figo re-ignites Deco row
Portugal's Deco
Deco has been a key figure for Porto
Portugal's Luis Figo has revived his row with Brazilian-born team-mate Deco over his inclusion in Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad for Euro 2004.

Figo criticised Deco's inclusion when he was first called up in 2003 and the Real Madrid star fanned the flames of their row in an El Pais interview.

"I don't think people would be happy in Spain if I became a Spanish national and played for the Spanish side."

"It's something that distorts team spirit and I don't agree with it."

Figo added: "If you're born Chinese, well, you have to play for China.

"I have nothing against those who do that but it's superficial.

"It looks like you're trying to take advantage of something. That's my opinion and I'm not going to change it because he is in the team."

Deco was called up to the Portugal squad by former Brazil coach Scolari in March 2003, just a week after being granted Portuguese citizenship.

That match was against Brazil and Deco crowned a spectacular debut by scoring the winner.

This season he has been in excellent form for Porto and scored the second goal in their 3-0 victory over Monaco in the Champions League final.

"I don't regret choosing to play for Portugal," Deco said.

"I've always been well treated and it's a pleasure to play here.

"I was born in Brazil and it would be a lie to say that I'm just Portuguese now and not Brazilian but I love Portugal and I love playing for the national team."

Links to more Portugal stories



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