Russell Latapy

Russell Latapy
Personal information
Full nameRussell Nigel Latapy
Date of birthJuly 2 1968 (1968--) (age 39)
Place of birth    Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Height{}
Playing positionMidfield
Club information
Current clubFalkirk
Senior clubs1
YearsClubApp (Gls)*

1990–1994
1994–1996
1996–1998
1998–2001
2001–2003
2003
2003–
Port Morant United
Académica
Porto
Boavista
Hibernian
Rangers
Dundee United
Falkirk

127 (32)
040 0(6)
040 0(1)
084 (22)
023 0(5)
007 0(0)
131 (22)   
National team2
1988–2006Trinidad and Tobago067 (28)
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 16:23, 16 May 2007 (UTC).
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 20 June 2006.
* Appearances (Goals)
Russell Latapy (born 02 August 1968) is a Trinidad and Tobago football player. Despite being almost 40 years old[1] Russell Latapy continues to play his trade as a midfield player and first team coach for Falkirk in the Scottish Premier League. He has previously played for Hibernian, Rangers, Dundee United, FC Porto, and Boavista. He came out of international retirement to play for Trinidad and Tobago in the FIFA World Cup in Germany, coming on as a substitute in the 67' of the Paraguay vs. Trinidad and Tobago match.

Although he has not achieved the same degree of international recognition as Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy is touted as a football legend by fans and supporters from Trinidad and Tobago, with some fans considering Latapy to be the greatest footballer ever to play for Trinidad and Tobago. The high regard for Russell Latapy meant that there was some disappointment among Trinidad and Tobago football fans that his on-pitch appearance in the 2006 FIFA World Cup was limited to only part of one game, even if it did represent the realization of a dream that was denied 16 years earlier when Trinidad and Tobago failed to secure a berth in the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.

Childhood and early career

Russell Latapy was first noted playing organised football as an Under-10 footballer. Latapy's dedication to football was evident even during this period when he showed single minded dedication to improving the technical aspects of his game. As a youth he played in the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary School's Football League and was called to the national Under-16 and Under-19 football teams. When he was 19 years old Latapy had an opportunity to attend Florida International University, however, he elected to continue with his football career. This decision was supported by his mother despite the fact that in the 1980s very few Trinidadians were noted to have had careers in football that allowed them to earn a decent living.[2]

Russell Latapy's debut for the Trinidad and Tobago senior team was on 30 October 1988 in a World Cup qualifying match against Honduras.[3] While the match was a 0-0 draw it saw Latapy begin his journey towards becoming one of the most respected footballers to hail from Trinidad and Tobago.

1990 FIFA World Cup Qualification Campaign

Trinidad and Tobago's efforts to secure a spot in the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals saw members of the "Strike Squad", as the national senior team was known, become larger than life celebrities and whipped the twin-island nation into a frenzy of football fueled patriotism. The exploits of the Strike Squad were often televised and widely watched allowing more Trinidad and Tobagonians than ever to witness the ball control at pace that represented one of the more distinctive aspects of Russell's game. Sadly, the qualifying campaign came to an end on 19 November 1989 when, with only a draw required to go to the World Cup finals, Trinidad and Tobago was defeated by the United States with a final score of 0-1.[4] With his hopes of playing in the World Cup dashed, Russell quickly realized that in order to ever have a chance making it to finals of football's greatest stage he would have to continue playing competitively.

Portugal

The aftermath of the World Cup qualification campaign saw Dwight Yorke begin his professional career in the UK playing for Aston Villa. Latapy, perhaps a bit less lucky, played in Trinidad and Jamaica before beginning his European club football career with Académica in Portugal in 1990. During his time at Académica Russell developed his game under the guidance of coach Victor Manuel who Russell credits being one of the coaches he admires the most.[5]

Russell's performances with Académica saw him recruited by FC Porto (a team that remains Russell's self proclaimed spiritual home). While playing with Porto Latapy earned Portuguese Superliga winner's medals for the 1994/95 season and the 1995/96 season. It was also while playing with Porto that Latapy earned the distinction of being the first Trinidadian to play in the UEFA Champions League.[6] Following his time at FC Porto Latapy then moved to Boavista FC and was part of the team that won both the 1996/97 Cup of Portugal and the 1996/97 Portuguese SuperCup Cândido de Oliveira.

Scotland

While Portugal was where Latapy's professional career in Europe began, it was in Scotland where it became more turbulent and marked by publicity over several unpleasant episodes. Following his time at Boavista which ended in 1998, Latapy was recruited by Alex McLeish to his first Scottish team, the then Scottish Division 1 outfit, Hibernian FC. Russell quickly be came a fan favorite at Hibernian and earned numerous awards including two Hibernian Player of the Year awards and a Scottish Division 1 Player of the Year award. Russell's performances also assisted Hibernian in winning the 1999/2000 Division 1 season. Despite his contributions to the team, Latapy was sacked from Hibernian early in 2001 after a night that began with Latapy socializing with fellow Trinidad and Tobago footballer Dwight Yorke, and ended with him being charged by police for drunk driving. The incident represented a breach of the code-of conduct for Hibernian players who are forbidden to drink for 48 hours before a match.[7] [8] It was around this time that Russell Latapy and Dwight Yorke both quit international football after being dropped from the stating lineup by then Trinidad and Tobago coach, Renê Simões, after the two players failed to show up for a training session.[9]

Following his dismissal from Hibernian Latapy was signed by Scottish Premier League club Rangers F.C. under manager Dick Advocaat. His career at Rangers; however, did not reflect his success at Hibernian. Latapy rarely started for Rangers and found himself out of favour, potentially as a result of his old Hibernian manager, Alex McLeish, replacing Advocaat as team manager and expressing a desire to field younger players -- a vision that held no place for a then 34 year old Russell Latapy. In addition to his age, Latapy's hard partying tendencies also did little to put him in McLeish's good graces and is also considered a contributing factor to being dropped from the Rangers lineup in early 2003.[10][11] After leaving Rangers Latapy was quickly signed by Scottish Premier League club Dundee United F.C., however, his tenure at this club lasted for only a few months and Latapy soon found himself taking time off in Portugal after being released by Dundee United.

Latapy's unsigned status was short lived as former Hibernian teammate and now Falkirk F.C. manager, John Hughes, managed to track him down in Portugal and convinced him to accept a contract with Falkirk, which at that time (mid-2003), was playing in the Scottish Division 1.[12] Russell's on-pitch performances helped the club win Division 1 at the end of the 2004/05 season and saw Falkirk move into the Scottish Premier League. Now in the latter stages of his career Latapy has become renowned for his powerful long range shooting abilitles.

2006 FIFA World Cup

While Russell Latapy appeared to have found in Falkirk a team that fulfilled his twin desires to play and coach, it seemed that following his dismissal from the Trinidad and Tobago national team, Latapy would never get a chance to play in a FIFA World Cup finals game after being denied his chance in 1989. Once again, however, fortune intervened in Russell's favour in the form of a request from representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago national team to return to international football and join the team in its qualification campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Despite having a chance to make up for not making it to the 1990 World Cup, Latapy refused the initial offer to return to international football citing the demands of his player-coach role at Falkirk, and his rejected request to coach the Trinidad and Tobago team, as reasons for not returning to international football. It eventually took the personal intervention of Dwight Yorke (who himself had returned to the national team) and FIFA Vice-President Austin "Jack" Warner to get Latapy to return to the national team, now nicknamed the "Soca Warriors".[13]

On 03 August 2005 Russell Latapy played his first international game in four years in a World Cup qualifying match in Port of Spain against Guatemala where he scored one of the goals that secured a 3-2 victory for Trinidad and Tobago. Latapy then played for five other World Cup qualifying matches but after Trinidad and Tobago secured its place in the World Cup after beating Bahrain 1-0, he spent much of his time in Germany on the bench as Trinidad and Tobago played Sweden and England and his teammate from his ill fated Strike Squad days, Dwight York, started for all of the games. It was only in Trinidad and Tobago's third World Cup game against Paraguay in Kaiserslautern that Latapy was called upon in the 67th minute as Trinidad and Tobago's final substitute. Latapy's appearance on the field sent Trinidad and Tobago supporters into a frenzy of cheers as his appearance offered some hope of salvaging a game that was already going against Trinidad and Tobago as Paraguay was up 0-1 after a Trinidad and Tobago own goal. Despite Latapy's presence on the pitch, Trinidad and Tobago lost the match with a final score of 0-2. Although leaving the tournament after playing for only 23 minutes Latapy's performance saw him realize a dream that, after being crushed in 1989, took another 16 years to be fulfilled.

Post-World Cup

Upon leaving Germany after losing to Paraguay, Russell Latapy and the rest of the Soca Warriors returned to a hero's welcome at Piarco International Airport in Trinidad. In recognition of their achievement in qualifying for the World Cup each member of the team was awarded Trinidad and Tobago's second highest honour, the Chaconia Medal in gold, and TT$1,000,000.[14] Latapy's World Cup appearance marked his retirement from international football and saw him return to his playing and coaching duties at Falkirk in Scotland.

Trivia

Because of his famous dreadlocks Latapy has earned the nickname 'Dreads' amongst the Falkirk faithful.

Latapy's training regime, prior to Trinidad & Tobago's World Cup campaign in 2006 consisted of reducing the amount of cigarettes he smoked from 40 a-day to 10 a-day. Despite most modern professional footballers frowning upon smoking and it's consequences, Latapy says "Smoking is something I choose to do." Russell Latapy was also quite renowned for his world cup 2006 drinking antics after the epic 0-0 draw with Sweden. He was pictured in Trinidad and Tobagan news late night partying with the president of Trinidad. The carnival after the match was a famous one as the country celebrated the moral victory against Sweden.

An urban myth involving Russell Latapy states that everytime he plays poorly in a Pro Evolution Soccer 6 match, Trinidad & Tobago have gone on to secure victory.

Awards

(as of August 2006)
  • Scottish Premier League player of the month (August 2006)
  • Scotland's 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 2000
  • 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[15][16]

References

1. ^ [1] Darren Ennis, "No fire without smoke for Latapy" The Guardian, Wednesday June 7, 2006 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
2. ^ [2] Interview with Russell Latapy by Shaun Fuentes, "Latapy – the man, his moments, his dreams" The Trinidad Guardian, Wednesday 12th October, 2005 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
3. ^ [3] Roberto Mamrud, "Russell Latapy - International Appearances", Last updated: 23 Jul 2006 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
4. ^ [4] Flex Mohammed, "The Story of Our Lives", socawarriors.net (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
5. ^ [5] Interview with Russell Latapy by Shaun Fuentes, "Latapy – the man, his moments, his dreams" The Trinidad Guardian, Wednesday 12th October, 2005 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
6. ^ [6] FIFA, "2006 World Cup player profile - Russell Latapy" (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
7. ^ [7] BBC Sport, "Latapy axed by Hibs" BBC Sport, Tuesday, 22 May, 2001 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
8. ^ [8] Katrina Tweedie, "The Russell Latapy story – Part III: The ‘lime’ that soured Latapy’s career" Daily Record (as republished in The Trinidad Guardian), Wednesday 7th May 2003 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
9. ^ [9] BBC Sport, "Yorke and Latapy quit" BBC Sport, Friday, 29 June, 2001 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
10. ^ [10] BBC Sport, "Gers to pay off Latapy" BBC Sport, Tuesday, 14 January, 2003 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
11. ^ [11] Katrina Tweedie, "The Russell Latapy story – Part III: The ‘lime’ that soured Latapy’s career" Daily Record (as republished in The Trinidad Guardian), Wednesday 7th May 2003 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
12. ^ [12] BBC Sport, "Falkirk snap up Latapy" BBC Sport, Saturday, 14 June, 2003 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
13. ^ [13] The Trinidad Guardian, "Latapy's back" The Trinidad Guardian, Tuesday 23rd August, 2005 (last accessed, 31 August 2006).
14. ^ [14] Office of the Prime Minister: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, "Prime Minister Manning Clarifies Rewards to Soca Warriors" Office of the Prime Minister: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, June 26 2006 (last accessed, 31 August 2006)
15. ^ [15] The Trinidad Guardian, "Magician disappears", The Trinidad Guardian, Wednesday 10th May, 2006 (last accessed 04 September, 2006)
16. ^ [16]BBC Sport, "Latapy, 38, named player of month", BBC Sport, Friday, 8 September 2006 (last accessed 08 September, 2006)

External links

July 2 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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Port of Spain
Port of Spain, viewed from the harbour, December 2002. The twin towers of the Eric Williams Plaza is clearly visible. The Nicholas Tower, now the tallest building in Trinidad and Tobago, is under construction to the right of the image.
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Motto
"Together we aspire, together we achieve"
Anthem
Forged From The Love of Liberty


Capital Port of Spain

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Académica may refer to:
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FC Porto

Full name Futebol Clube do Porto
Nickname(s) Dragões (Dragons)

Founded September 281893
Ground Estádio do Dragão (Dragon Stadium)
Capacity 52,000[1]
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Boavista F.C.

Full name Boavista Futebol Clube
Nickname(s) As Panteras
(The Panthers)
Os Axadrezados
(The Checkereds)

Founded 1 August, 1903
Ground Estádio do Bessa, Porto
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Hibernian

Full name Hibernian Football Club
Nickname(s) Hibees, Hibs, The Cabbage
Founded August 1875
Ground Easter Road
Leith
Edinburgh
Scotland

Capacity 17,500
Chairman Rod Petrie
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Rangers

Full name Rangers Football Club
Nickname(s) The Gers, Teddy Bears, Light Blues
Founded 1873
Ground Ibrox Stadium
Glasgow, Scotland

Capacity 51,082[1]
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Dundee United F.C.

Full name Dundee United
Football Club
Nickname(s) The Terrors
The Tangerines
The Arabs (supporters)

Founded 1909 (as Dundee Hibernian)
1923 (as Dundee United)
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Trinidad and Tobago

Nickname(s) The Soca Warriors

Association Trinidad and Tobago
Football Federation
Confederation CONCACAF (North America)

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1930s  1940s  1950s  - 1960s -  1970s  1980s  1990s
1965 1966 1967 - 1968 - 1969 1970 1971

Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII
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Motto
"Together we aspire, together we achieve"
Anthem
Forged From The Love of Liberty


Capital Port of Spain

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Association football, commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players. It is the most popular sport in the world.
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Hibernian

Full name Hibernian Football Club
Nickname(s) Hibees, Hibs, The Cabbage
Founded August 1875
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Edinburgh
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Chairman Rod Petrie
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Rangers

Full name Rangers Football Club
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Founded 1873
Ground Ibrox Stadium
Glasgow, Scotland

Capacity 51,082[1]
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Dundee United F.C.

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Football Club
Nickname(s) The Terrors
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Founded 1909 (as Dundee Hibernian)
1923 (as Dundee United)
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FC Porto

Full name Futebol Clube do Porto
Nickname(s) Dragões (Dragons)

Founded September 281893
Ground Estádio do Dragão (Dragon Stadium)
Capacity 52,000[1]
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Boavista F.C.

Full name Boavista Futebol Clube
Nickname(s) As Panteras
(The Panthers)
Os Axadrezados
(The Checkereds)

Founded 1 August, 1903
Ground Estádio do Bessa, Porto
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Teams 32   (from 198 entrants)
Host Germany
Matches played   64
Goals scored 147   (average 0 per match)
Attendance 3,353,655   (average 0 per match)
Top scorer(s) Miroslav Klose
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Full name Dwight Eversley Yorke
Date of birth November 3 1971 (1971--) (age 36)
Place of birth
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Teams 24   (from 116 entrants)
Host Italy
Matches played   52
Goals scored 115   (average 0 per match)
Attendance 2,516,348   (average 0 per match)
Top scorer(s) Salvatore Schillaci
6 goals

The
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Trinidad and Tobago

Nickname(s) The Soca Warriors

Association Trinidad and Tobago
Football Federation
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United States

Nickname(s) Yanks,
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Aston Villa

Full name Aston Villa Football Club
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Founded 1874[1]
Ground Villa Park
Aston
Birmingham B6 6HE
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Capacity 42,640
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Académica may refer to:
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Founded
1955
Continent
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Number of teams
32 (Group Stage)
76 (total)
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AC Milan (7th time)
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