'They don't insult you when things are good' - Figo compares Barca fans to demanding Real faithful

He may have ended on less than positive terms with the Cule fans, but Figo retains admiration for the fervour of their support

Luis Figo has compared favourably Barcelona's supporters with their Real Madrid counterparts, suggesting that the former are less willing to turn on their players when the chips are down. 

The former Portugal international belongs to a select group of players who have represented both Clasico giants in Spain, a club which also includes the likes of Luis Enrique and Ronaldo. 

Previously a favourite at Camp Nou, Figo provoked the wrath of the Barca faithful in 2000 when he moved to Madrid, even being targeted with a pig's head during one infamous Clasico when taking a corner. 

But he seems to have buried the hatchet with Los Cules now, speaking out in glowing terms on their devotion. 

"I saw both sets of fans in different moments," he explained in an interview with XL Semanal

"In Barcelona there are certain players who are idolised and it is marvellous to play in an atmosphere like that. They don't insult you that much if things are going well. 

"Madrid have a great support which is accustomed to the best and that sets the bar very high."

Madrid saw a run of three consecutive Champions Leagues come to an end last week with last-16 elimination at the hands of Ajax, a 4-1 humiliation at the Bernabeu sending them out of the competition. 

Figo believes that Cristiano Ronaldo's absence has been keenly felt and was not properly remedied, while recognising that the forward is "irreplaceable". 

"It is logical for teams to need to rebuild when they lose such an important player, but the market is tough because there are not so many chances to buy key players who can help Madrid," he added, before singling out teenage Brazilian Vinicius Junior as a hot prospect at the Bernabeu. 

"He has been crucial. He has such great potential, but I think that due to his age he is lacking precision in front of goal."

After welcoming back three-time Champions League-winning coach Zinedine Zidane on Monday, Madrid are back in action at the weekend, when they host Celta. 

The Merengue currently find themselves in third place in La Liga, 12 points behind leaders Barcelona.