Once a candidate for the FIFA presidency himself, Portugal’s Luis Figo wants to see UEFA’s Gianni Infantino elected as leader of the troubled governing body of world football.

Figo, one of Portugal’s finest ever footballers, pulled out of the last race in May this year and has now backed Infantino for the February 26 poll.

“His experience, competence, capacity for work and his honesty make him the best candidate for the presidency,” said Figo, a former star of both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“Gianni represents a new generation of leaders who put football first,” said Figo of the current UEFA number two.

“He has a new style, a new approach to a procedure in need of transparency and an ideas debate instead of political manoeuvering and personal attacks,” added Figo.

No mention was made of Infantino’s boss at UEFA Michel Platini, himself on the seven man shortlist of candidates for the FIFA presidency.

The other candidates are Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale.

Platini and outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter are currently suspended from all football-related activities while a suspect $2 million payment Platini received from Blatter on behalf of FIFA in 2011 is investigated.