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Apr 19, 2013

Figo: Madrid want Mourinho to stay

Luis Figo has claimed everyone at Real Madrid is hoping that Jose Mourinho continues as coach next season, but says the club will survive if he does move on.

Figo was speaking at the presentation of the Corazon Classic Match 2013 Veracruz, where a team of Madrid legends will play a Juventus veterans side at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 9. Former players from both sides, including Zinedine Zidane, Emilio Butragueno, Fernando Hierro, Pavel Nedved and Gianluca Pessotto were also in attendance.

Funds raised by the game are hoped to deliver more than 500,000 after-school snacks to more than 5,000 children across Spain. Journalists at the event, however, were more interested in the former players' views on Mourinho's potential exit from the club this summer, given the increasing speculation that the Portuguese is set to return to former club Chelsea for next season.

Asked if he could imagine a Madrid with Mourinho, Figo told reporters: "We will have to wait and see what happens. Madrid is a club with a very great history, and it would not end if he left. [But] everyone hopes that he stays for next season."

The former Portugal captain was also asked for this thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo's future, given the lack of progress regarding contract negotiations between the ex-Manchester United man and Madrid president Florentino Perez.

"It is better for Cristiano to speak than me," Figo said. "He is a great player and he must reach an agreement with the club if he wants to stay."

Madrid's upcoming Champions League semi-final meeting with Borussia Dortmund was tough to call, but Jose Mourinho's side were well placed to win their long-awaited tenth European Cup, said Figo, a member of the 2002 side which won the ninth title.

"I hope that Madrid reaches the final," he said. "It is impossible to predict this tie. But they have a chance to win La Decima."

The ex-Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona and Inter Milan player said he was really looking forward to returning to the Bernabeu for June's game as such charity events were important to him.

"The Bernabeu was my home and it remains my home," he said. "I am always happy to contribute to these type of causes."

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