little magic from former national captain Russell Latapy
might just what the T&T Soca Warriors need to book a
spot in the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa.
The T&T Football Federation (TTFF) believes any form
of contribution from the little magician either
on the field or on the sideline will improve T&Ts
chances of making it out of the qualifying stage and in
to the Finals.
Latapy will join the Soca Warriors as player/coach for the
two upcoming World Cup matches against Guatemala (away)
and the United States (home) in October.
He will serve as Francisco Maturanas assistant and
is carded to join the squad in the build up to the matches
in Guatemala City on October 11 and at the Hasely Crawford
Stadium in Mucurapo on October 15.
The former FC Porto midfielder accepted the offer to return
to the T&T team following initial talks with the TTFF
earlier this month.
There will be a friendly international in early October
and on the roster for the upcoming matches will be midfielder
Chris Birchall of Conventry and Swanseas Dennis Lawrence.
Also available is Sunderland midfielder Dwight Yorke for
the upcoming qualifying matches.
are pleased to have Latapy on board with us for the next
two qualifying matches in the first instance, TTFF
Special Advisor Jack Warner said. The two matches
against Guatemala and USA are of utmost importance at this
stage and we believe that Latapys role is an asset
to the team and the Federation. We wish to welcome him and
look forward to his involvement in our efforts to achieve
the desired progress in our football.
Latapy was delighted to get the call to come back and serve
T&T and promises to commit to the cause.
always said that I would do whatever might be necessary
to help our football and being given the opportunity to
come back and give the support is one I would not turn down.
I will continue to give my support new role that has been
offered to me. I am looking forward to working with everybody
involved in the team and the football on a whole and hopefully
we can achieve our desired goal.
Falkirk manager John Hughes also spoke to the Scottish Press
about Latapys appointment, adding Russells
a God over there and Ill never forget stepping off
the plane on tour with Hibs a few years ago and seeing a
brass band on the tarmac to greet the wee man coming home.
still has work to do here and theres no better player
for our youngsters to learn from. Even if hes only
playing for 20 or 30 minutes these days he can still unlock
the door and as soon as he steps off the bench other managers
shoot a look to say, Oh no, here he comes.
The Little Magician was also featured in The
Scotsman on the weekend.
the flip side is the mercurial talent, the ability to seduce
football fans with greater ease than he does the opposite
sex. There is the healthy eating and the willingness to
train. He is still an important member of the Falkirk side
and has once again been recalled by T&T, despite the
fact he is now a 40-year-old, said Hughes.
Latapy, born August 2, 1968, is a midfield player and
first team coach for Falkirk in the Scottish Premier League.
He has previously played for Hibernian, Glasgow Rangers,
Dundee United, FC Porto, Academica and Boavista. He came
out of international retirement to play for T&T in the
FIFA World Cup in Germany, coming on as a substitute in
the second half of the Paraguay versus T&T match.
This year Latapy along with Yorke were voted among the top
50 foreign players to ever play professionally in Britain
by popular football publication FourFourTwo.
He became the first Trinidadian to appear in the European
Champions League during his second season in Portugal
with FC Porto.
Following his announced retirement from the national team
in 2001, Russell, following the influence of his close pal
Yorke and administrator 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.
Scotlands Division 1 winners medal with Falkirk
Scotlands Division 1 Player of the Year in 2004/2005
Bells Cup winners medal with Falkirk in 2004
Nominated for the BBC Scotland Off The Ball
Overseas Player of the Year in 2004
Bells Player of the Month (for April) in 2004
Nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2000
T&T Olympic Committee Sports Personality of the Year
Hibernians Player of the Year in 1999/2000
Scotlands Division 1 Player of the Year in 1999/2000
Scotlands Division 1 winners medal with
Hibernian in 1999/2000
Hibernians Player of the Year in 1998/1999
Portuguese Super Cup winners medal with Boavista
Cup of Portugal winners medal with Boavista in 1996/1997
Portuguese SuperLiga winners medal with FC Porto
Portuguese SuperLiga winners medal with FC Porto
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