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Offline Trini _2026

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'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« on: August 03, 2005, 11:46:58 PM »
'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
By Lasana Liburd (Trinidad Express)


"I consider myself fortunate because at 37 I am still playing," said Falkirk midfield ace and ex-Trinidad and Tobago national football captain Russell Latapy. "I love the game and I still enjoy playing the game and would like to continue playing at the highest level for as long as I can."

Latapy smiles and strokes his chin between thumb and forefinger as though savouring the thought. He has invited Express Sports to conduct the interview in Falkirk's physio room, which would be off limit for such purposes to most players.

Throughout his career, though, Latapy has enjoyed special privileges from a bevy of coaches to go along with his unique talent on the ball. He might not be as dynamic as he was a decade ago, but his star still burns bright.

The low hairdo Latapy sported before his international retirement, four years ago, has been replaced by Rastafarian locks that drop beneath his shoulder blades. His runs, on and off the ball, are shorter as he admitted to being short of match fitness.

But the No.10 is still on his back and an angel continues to lace his boots. The measured passes, hook backs and body feints are as much a part of his armory as they ever were.

It is irrelevant to discuss whether he is still worthy of an international shirt as Latapy has repeatedly asked that his wish to stay retired be respected. But, for mischievousness sake, I tried to gauge anyway from his performance on Saturday in a 2-0 Scottish Premier League (SPL) loss to unfancied Inverness.

Latapy may struggle to burst past international defenders now. If Trinidad and Tobago are defending deep, as tends to be the case against the Mexicos and Costa Ricas of the CONCACAF region, his defensive work is negligible.

But, 30 yards from the opposing goal, there are still few better at bamboozling an opponent with a deft pass or shuffle.

A Dutch writer once remarked that Johann Cryuff had four feet, "right and left and inside and outside"; a charging Latapy can appear almost as unstoppable.

Trinidad and Tobago might still be in Latapy's heart, but he explained that Falkirk dominate his head as he looks toward his future beyond his playing career. He admitted that he never watched his country play since he quit the team in June 2001.

"I have given so much of my life to the national team that the only way for me to move on was to take a step back," he said. "What happens is if I am too involved then I could get sucked in. So I made a decision to step back after having given so much of my life to Trinidad football.

"Because I did well with the national team you have people trying to get you back involved and you appreciate that kind of stuff, but I think some decisions you make, you have to stick by it."

Latapy toyed with the idea of returning to the national set up earlier this year as either a replacement to outgoing head coach Bertille St Clair or as assistant to present boss, Leo Beenhakker. Instead, Beenhakker was chosen and asked him to accept a playing role. Latapy declined.

"I appreciated his offer," he said. "But because of my age and where I am looking to go in football, I did not think it was right for me. I am trying to cross that barrier between player and coach and I have done that at Falkirk. So it would be a step backwards for me if I went to the national team as a player alone."

At present, Latapy is assistant to first team coach Brian Rice who, in turn, is deputy to Falkirk manager John Hughes. Latapy, who has taken the relevant coaching badges, hopes to launch his coaching career at Falkirk when he retires from the game.

The timing of his latest national call-up, he explained, was just not right.

"It was not a case where I am able to go (to Trinidad) and if it does not work then I can come back and get my job here," he said. "So, in making that decision, I decided that it is better for where I want to go to stay here and be involved with the coaching.

"I have been involved with the national team since I was 16 years old, so I gave half of my life to the team. I think I have done a fair shift and I hope everyone understands. I would still want to be involved with the national team but in a coaching capacity."

Latapy insisted that there was no acrimony between himself and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) despite their fall-outs in the past.

He described his retirement as the saddest day of his career and explained that it started with the dismissal of ex-Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield, which had annoyed him and close friend and fellow star player, Dwight Yorke.

Another personal low point was the 1998 World Cup campaign when he was banned by the T&TFF for failing to report for international duty against the United States. Latapy had been injured in an earlier qualifier against Costa Rica and was upset that the local federation never called to enquire about his health, but promptly insisted he report for duty as soon as he returned to full fitness.

But he grudgingly conceded to one regret in his international career. Ironically, Latapy was sorry that he never worked with the coach who dropped him before their first training session together and prompted his retirement from national duty.

"I don't like to use the word 'regret'," said Latapy, "because I do not really regret things in life. But I was sorry that I never had the chance to work with Rene (Simoes).

"There were a lot of things happening around football at the time that I was not happy about and then he made his decision. You have to understand that we are footballers second and men first. So he made his decision and we (Dwight and myself) made ours.

"I am certain he was a good coach though."

At 37, Latapy is not only more sympathetic towards the coaches he sometimes fell out with, but is even an admirer. His eyes shone as he discussed the mind games and tactical dilemmas that he would have to sort out as a coach.

As a player, he cared about his own game trusting in his ability to be a match winner. He is now learning to better utilise and even manipulate the resources of the players around him.

This season, for the first time, he has not set himself a personal target as a player.

"My personal ambition is the team's ambition," he said, "which is to do well and win matches."

If Falkirk are the present, Latapy has his own dreams for the future. He has never forgotten his spell at Porto where he won two Portugal league titles and played in the European Champions League under the tutelage of legendary English manager Sir Bobby Robson and his sidekick Jose Mourinho, who is now a star in his own right as Chelsea boss.

He reminisced over Robson's shrewd reading of the game and Mourinho's charm with the playing staff.

Latapy, who speaks fluent Portuguese, would love to return.

"My dream job would be to coach the club that I like the most in the world," he said. "And that is Porto. I have always been a Porto fan."

For now, Latapy would settle for survival with Falkirk. Hughes stressed how important the former Laventille boy was to the club's chances of staying up in the SPL.

"Russell can do things which other players cannot do," Hughes told Express Sports. "I have seen him better (than he was on Saturday) but if we are to succeed this season in the premier league, a big part of that will be on Russell's shoulders.

"Of course, we also have to look at Russell's age and we have to nurse him and look after him. But if I am an opposing manager and I look at the Falkirk team sheet and Russell Latapy's name is not on the team sheet, I would be doing somersaults."

He will not wear national colours again. But "The Little Magician" is not ready to put down his wand just yet.
 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2005, 06:38:06 AM by Tallman »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4</a>

Offline Trini _2026

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wandjust yet
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2005, 11:47:22 PM »
Nice article shows a differnt side of latapy
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4</a>

Offline andre samuel

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wandjust yet
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2005, 06:31:40 AM »
somehow, ah feel he still could make ah comeback! ;D ;D

Ps: (sam please doh cuss meh...lol)
Andre Samuel, who controls all the rights to the phrase "ah love it!!"

Offline Big Magician

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wandjust yet
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2005, 06:38:29 AM »
as a matter of fact...lets forget latapy ( god)...and call up sam
Little Magician is King.......ask Jorge Campos


Offline Sam

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2005, 07:12:40 AM »
NOTHING could change my mind how I feel about Latapy unless he come back and help T&T and show commitment how Dwight is showing, not just be a figure on de team.

De bottom line, he had a problem with de TTFF in de past but I am sure if de TTFF did accept his LONG ass list of shit he wanted he would have come and play for T&T,, he woulda study de problem he had then...... ALL this bitch wanted was money, he is a money hungry slut... man like them so does get fool real easy.

He have no heart, all he had to do was sign with T&T for July, August and September and return to Falkirk in November early September after we 2 games and kill 2 birds with one stone.

F**k him.... I hope Falkirk get relegated.... f**k them and Latapy to... he never accomplish ANYTHING for T&T and now was his chance, every player in the world dream.......... all de bad he bad, dribble 12 man and we still lose.... not that he cant play or help we now... but still allyuh men does do like he is de best allyuh ever see in T&T...

We stand such a decent chance, why not help.... ?? even one or 2 games wouldn't kill him...
« Last Edit: August 04, 2005, 07:23:17 AM by Flex »
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Offline Jumbie

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2005, 07:20:27 AM »
NOTHING could change my mind how I feel about Latapy unless he come back and help T&T and show commitment how Dwight is showing, not just be a figure on de team.

De bottom line, he had a problem with de TTFF in de past but I am sure if de TTFF did accept his LONG ass list of shit he wanted he would have come and play for T&T,, he woulda study de problem he had then...... ALL this bitch wanted was money, he is a money hungry slut... man like them so does get fool real easy.

He have no heart, all he had to do was sign with T&T for July, August and September and return to Falkirk in November early September after we 2 games and kill 2 birds with one stone.

F**k him.... I hope Falkirk get relegated.... f**k them and Latapy to... he never accomplish ANYTHING for T&T and now was his chance, every player in the world dream.......... all de bad he bad, dribble 12 man and we still lose.... not that he cant play or help we now... but still allyuh men does do like he is de best allyuh ever see in T&T...

We stand such a decent chance, why not help.... ?? even one or 2 games wouldn't kill him...

Yea boy.. I was who was calling for NEVA letting Yorke especially, wearing the red/white/black again..but from reports here from men that have seen him play lately..the man is like a born-again. Well done Yorkie.. Too bad about Latas though..personally, he's the best TnT player I've ever actually seen  play.[most creative] I neva missed a sando tech game in the old days!

You'd think after all these years he saved some of his coins and could afford now to give TnT a freebee?

« Last Edit: August 04, 2005, 07:23:02 AM by Flex »

Offline grskywalker

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2005, 07:28:32 AM »
SAM why yuh hating on Latas so boy, respect the man decision and move on.

He gave more than 100% in the games he played for TNT. We would never know the inside story around him retiring, can't say I would not have done the same thing.

I would never forget the goal he scored in the oval against Norway, faking the keeper out before he slotted one in the net. It was a beauty after being down in the first half. It was the most spirited comeback I have ever seen from Trinidad. That game made ESPN international news as the biggest upset of the day

Latas would always be considered one of Trini's all time great players

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2005, 07:39:17 AM »
I love Latapy as much as anyone, but Sam has a point with regards to T&T making it on the BIG statge of World Football.

Latas did give a lot to T&T, but  alot was also given to him.

I do not hate Latapy, au contarire, I admire him, but.....


Latas has to see T&T in Money

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a
$20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, 'Who would like
this $20 bill?' Hands started going up.

He said, 'I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first,
let me do this.' He proceeded to crumple the $20 dollar bill up.
He then asked, 'Who still wants it?' Still the hands were up in
the air. 'Well', he replied, 'What if I do this?' And he dropped
it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his
shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. 'Now who still
wants it?' Still the hands went into the air. 'My friends, we
have all learned a very valuable lesson', he said, 'No matter
what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not
decrease in value. It was still worth $20.'

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground
into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances
that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no
matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never
lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased,
you are still priceless...and especially to those who love you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or whom we know,
but by WHO WE ARE.


'You are special - Don't EVER forget it.'

T&T is special and Latas should come home one last time, and see the worth in us regardless of wheter we seem like we trampled and dirty and beat up...fact is we still worth something valueable, just like he is!

Offline Tongue

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2005, 08:04:51 AM »
oh gorm man True....have big man  :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( with dem words... :D :D

Offline Jah Gol

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2005, 08:12:06 AM »
Who the hell is Latapy to come and make demands to the TTFF. I don't care how good Latapy was, he was allowed the greatest Latitude as a player. He could have done as pleased. That claim of giving a lot to Trinidad football is grossely inaccurate. How many times you could spot this man in a club or bar days before we had games to play.

We Trinidadians accept too much crap. Because Latapy was a talented and entertaining player we should place him on a pedestal. He chewed up Trinidad and spit her out. He had an opportunity to redeem himself and he declined. Irrespective of our qualification fate the people's perception of Dwight Yorke will be changed forever. Yorke is working harder now than 4 years ago when he was in his hayday. Does Latapy deserve the respect of the people ? I will never forget that Latapy missed a warm up game and refused to go training and was subsequently dropped from the team. He responded by retiring. I will never forget ! I don't care how good he was.

We keep on talking about this man who used to play for the team years ago and dishonoured this country. I give respect were respect is due but I refuse to respect those who do not respect me.


Offline AB.Trini

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2005, 09:17:25 AM »
Ah Latapy? "How it go look? a soca song goes. Yuh see as great as he is being made out to be, the trait of humility is absent. So that  'wand' thing yuh eh want tuh put down, why not stick it ... yes right up dey. good run yure sre now ; talk Portuguse; wear a kilt and talk scottish. Good yuh eh have tuh support or watch TNT. dat eh in yuh heart .

Let's not forget that at the time negotiations were being made, Mr.Latapy was all set to resume his involvement in  international football CONTINGENT on ample $$$$$$$$$$ from TTFF. his popular refrain at that time was?..........GO SPEAK TO MY AGENT......

Ah how de great ones does cut style when they figure they so invincible!!!!!! Best of luck with his dreams:

"My dream job would be to coach the club that I like the most in the world," he said. "And that is Porto. I have always been a Porto fan."


Falkirk dominate his head as he looks toward his future beyond his playing career. He admitted that he never watched his country play since he quit the team in June 2001.
(some kind of hate here breds)

A man must follow his passion; funny thing  passion rules the heart yet Latapy is dominated by his head. So ah feeling after ah read this article for the fourth time dat Mr.Latapy really eh have no damn HEART fot TNT and that it's all about  what he is doing now at this time in his career. ah could smell bull sh....t in dat piece!!!! time tuh move on.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2005, 09:48:05 AM by AlbertaTrini »

Offline samo

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2005, 12:38:19 PM »
In all fairness.. Sometimes men does talk in a ceratin way to look like de big. How much game he go see T&T play in Scotland. I livin in de US and does catch mih tail to see a game. Only when ah go home to visit or we playing the US. luckily I was able to see some on de spanish station dis rounds and was in Miami for 1 in de gc.

Offline kounty

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2005, 12:46:26 PM »
ah feelin to read a lil calypso on the situation,
wey the man, the official socawarriors calypsonian

Offline kounty

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2005, 12:54:25 PM »
In all fairness.. Sometimes men does talk in a ceratin way to look like de big. How much game he go see T&T play in Scotland. I livin in de US and does catch mih tail to see a game. Only when ah go home to visit or we playing the US. luckily I was able to see some on de spanish station dis rounds and was in Miami for 1 in de gc.
samo, this is the most toots I probably ever read posted on this site.  If Nakhid could be in Lebanon and still organise to watch tapes of the shell cup, who is latapy?
you ent see trinidad play cuz you didn't really want to see trinidad play.  If I could be tellin muh brother, cousin, friend livin on the east coast, somebody to tape the match for me and send it....Even squinge up and listen to a radio broadcast...Latapy doh have the internet? is how much it worth to you...and if yuh doh really care it could come and go and you ent even know the result...but if yuh really care you will climb high mountain and cross big seas. 

Offline FireBrand

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2005, 02:29:21 PM »
People hear meh out! Hate only begets hate. Hating on Latas is just giving him more justification for treating T&T the way he has been doing for so long. De best way to deal with him is to show him love and respect (for his contributions, which in my opinion out weigh his shortcomings) despite his apparent disloyalty. It may heighten his awareness of how he treats us and hopefully he will come around.
Yes a lot of trinis( including myself) view him as one of the greatest footballers outta T&T, but remember de man is only human. It is also unfair to judge him if we have limited knowledge of the circumstances surrounding his decision to not represent T&T any more.
I am not happy about his behavior towards his homeland, but in trying to empathize I realize that before u can truly love anything, u must love yourself first. Maybe he thinks he has done a lot for T&T football and it's time to focus on himself.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2005, 09:49:19 PM by Fire Brand »
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Offline Big Magician

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2005, 03:01:54 PM »


                                                       GOD
                                                        10

sam...ah feel when yuh was small, some jackass coach ask yuh tuh mark de lil fella wit de big afro name russel latapy....and yuh still giddy from all dem beat yuh get....double sex and quad sex.....i understand is after dat game de local press dubbed latapy "the little magician"....untie yuh damn foot nah...de same knot he left you in...plus it have a job in tnt for you but small money and a shoddy administration....leave whey yuh is and come home fuh de wok nah.....
Little Magician is King.......ask Jorge Campos


Offline real madness

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2005, 05:02:22 PM »
I am disappointed in Latas turning down an opportunity to play for us bu at the end of the day he like everybdoy else needs to do what is best for him and his family.  One can argue about love for country but at the end of the day love don't pay bills.

He has served us well in the p[ast and we should be grateful for that.  Latas has now moved on to another aspect in his career/life so we have to respect him.

However when we qualify for Germany he better not change his mind.

Offline JERSEY TRINI

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2005, 06:26:41 PM »
I am disappointed in Latas turning down an opportunity to play for us bu at the end of the day he like everybdoy else needs to do what is best for him and his family.  One can argue about love for country but at the end of the day love don't pay bills.

He has served us well in the p[ast and we should be grateful for that.  Latas has now moved on to another aspect in his career/life so we have to respect him.

However when we qualify for Germany he better not change his mind.

For real he better not jump back in they at all...cause Yorke lucky he come early.

Offline pass(10trini)

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Re: 'LITTLE MAGICIAN' not ready to put down his wand just yet
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2005, 07:01:49 PM »
Firebrand thanks for that bit of insight cause I was feeling somewhat pessimistic after reading that article . Latapy doh understand how much joy he does bring he people nah . Because if he did he would have probably give we one last chance to see him in de red white and black strutting his gears . I ha to see if ah could get ah pardna with some ole tape and ting to giih me de chance to sight him when ah feel to reminisce .

He is de best midfielder to ever come from we shores and one of the best two  fotballers ever from tnt ; Dwight being the the other .

Leh we just be joyful to have been able to witness this lil maestro at work in our own backyard and remember every ohh and ahh after seeing all dem beat and spanner.........not forgetting all dem goal he score fuh we .

Latapy have given this nation everything he had to give and we are highly appreciative for his contributions . The memories were invaluable and we wish him the best at end of his career and the new coaching endeavour .
Stag is a man's beer-
Ah beer is ah carib
choose one

 

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