LISBON: Luis Figo, former FIFA presidential candidate and World Footballer of the Year, has backed Gianni Infantino as the best candidate in the race for world football’s top job this time around.

Infantino was put forward by UEFA, of which he is general secretary, in case suspended president Michel Platini cannot clear his name over allegations of financial misconduct in time for the election on February 26.

Figo, former Portugal captain, said:   “Gianni Infantino knows football inside out and his experience, competence, hard work and honesty make him the best candidate for the FIFA presidency.

“He brings a new style and approach to a process that needs transparency and debate of ideas instead of mere political moves and personal attacks.

“I know him for some years and we had the opportunity to exchange a lot of thoughts when I was a candidate myself. We share the same vision and have several projects and ideas in common.

“Gianni represents a new generation of football officials who want to change FIFA into an organization that places football above everything else. He has a track record of dealing with the big challenges but also caring for the smaller associations’ difficulties and projects.

“I fully support him in this race and I humbly ask all of those who will vote on the 26th of February to back Gianni Infantino. He won’t let football down.”