Date of Birth: August 2, 1968
Place of Birth: Laventille, T&T
Club: Falkirk FC
Nickname: Little Magician, Latas, Stompy
Clubs/Schools: Dundee United, Glasgow Rangers, Hibernian,
Boavista, Porto, Trintoc Academica de Coimbra, Port
Morant United, San Fernando Technical Institute
icon Russell Latapy is looking forward to playing under Leo
Beenhakker at the 2006 World Cup. But having announced his
retirement after the Finals, Latapy is eying a chance of coaching
the national team in the future.
He made this clear on the even of his final appearance on
home soil in todays friendly international against Peru.
don't think this is the end, but the beginning of something
new. And I know the coach is not ready to leave yet, but,
hopefully, I can work in another capacity and continue to
represent T&T. I'm not pushing him out of the door yet,
but I would love to have the opportunity to come back and
give something to Trinidad for all the things that Trinidad
has given to me, Latapy told a gathering of local and
foreign media and football officials at a breakfast
meeting at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday morning.
The event was organized by TT/Germany 2006 to allow
Latapy to say farewell as well as to preview todays
friendly against Peru and launch TT Post stamps in commemoration
of T&Ts qualification for Germany.
Beenhakker, who saw Latapy inspire to a T&T come from
behind 3-2 win over Guatemala last year, spoke only good about
the Little Magician.
is one of the few players of whom every coach dreams. They
not only can play good football based on their skills and
their talent, but they also understand the game. In this way
he was a great support for me and the team. As a coach you
can give him the message and he is able to translate the message
on the field. He is one of those few players who will bring
every team something extra. It was a pleasure to work with
I accepted this job last year May, we had a very long conversation.
I invited him to come over and support the team. He had to
think about the actual situation, his future and so on, and
preferred to concentrate a little bit more on the coaching
part. In other words, he was interested in taking over my
chair. I said, hey wait, you have many years to go,
Beenhakker said much to the laugher even from Latapy.
prefers to play in the middle, but sometimes I put him a little
bit on the side because it's better for the team.
everybody knows, it will be his farewell game. I am very happy
that a great player like Russell Latapy has the chance to
say a final farewell of his international career in Germany.
I think that it is really big for every player to do it once
in his career."
Latapy said it would be difficult to describe himself as a
player but said his days at FC Porto were the best.
my time at FC Porto. I was fortunate enough to be the first
Trinidadian player to play in the Champions League. I had
a fantastic time there under another fantastic coach Bobby
Robson and I learned about the game at that time. I think
it was then that I grew as a player.
When asked why he felt that the local public was attracted
so much to him, Latapy replied: Must be the hairstyle,
its dreads now but it used to be Afro, sparking
more laughter from the onlookers.
And as to how he saw the match ups for T&T in Germany,
always looked at football as eleven against eleven. I think
they have a lot of good players but we are quietly confident
in our ability. We have confidence as well in the tactics
and football knowledge of our coach. If we play to the best
of our ability and do what hes asking us to tactically,
I think we will be well capable of performing well.
Could he compare the Soca Warriors to the 1989 Strike Squad.
difficult. Two completely different teams and different coaches.
We didnt have the experience of international football
it was very disappointing in 1989 but now we have been able
to bury that ghost and we want to look forward to this occasion.
This is the light at the end of our tunnel and we want to
focus on that.
He also confirmed that he is not carrying any injuries and
is ready for the Peruvians and the rest of the build up schedule
to the World Cup.
A dynamic midfielder and one who excites the crowd, Latapy
has a natural gift and is one of the rare things in the game
of football, a playmaker and up to this day continues to be
one of the most exciting players to watch.
He has been on the national scene since his days as an Under-10
footballer and has produced many a sparkling performance that
has inspired onlookers to dub him "The Little Magician."
He became the first Trinidadian to appear in the European
Champions' League during his second season in Portugal with
Following his announced retirement from the National Team
in 2001, Latapy, following the influence of his close pal
Dwight Yorke and administrator Jack Warner, decided to make
one final return to the Team and did so in fine fashion, scoring
in T&Ts 3-2 win over Guatemala in World Cup qualifying
action in September, 2005.
He is also focusing on the coaching aspect of the game and
is current attached as an assistant coach with Falkirk FC.
Division 1 winner's medal with Falkirk in 2004/2005
Scotland's Division 1 Player of the Year in 2004/2005
Bell's Cup winner's medal with Falkirk in 2004
Nominated for the BBC Scotland Off The Ball Overseas
Player of the Year in 2004
Bell's Player of the Month April 2004
Nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2000
T&T Olympic Committee Sports Personality of the Year in
Hibernian's Player of the Year in 1999/2000
Scotland's Division 1 Player of the Year in 1999/2000
Scotland's Division 1 winner's medal with Hibernian in 1999/2000
Hibernian's Player of the Year in 1998/1999
Portuguese Super Cup winner's medal with Boavista in 1996/1997
Cup of Portugal winner's medal with Boavista in 1996/1997
Portuguese Super Liga winner's medal with FC Porto in 1995/1996
Portuguese Super Liga winner's medal with FC Porto in 1994/1995
T&T Chaconia Medal Silver (World Cup Squad) in 1989
Edinburgh Evening News Sports Personality of the Year in 1999
T&T Footballer of the Year in 1996
T&T Humming Bird Medal Gold (for Sport) in 1996
T&T Footballer of the Year in 1989
T&T Footballer of the Year in 1985
T&T Footballer of the Year in 1983