- Omar Da Fonseca was an expert participant between 1979 and 1993
- Now working as a pundit on French TV
- A giant fan of his compatriots Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi
Omar Da Fonseca has all the time beloved soccer. From his childhood in Buenos Aires to his skilled taking part in days and his present job as a pundit on French TV, his ardour for the sport has shone via. Quite merely, he lives and breathes it.
When he chatted to us concerning the South American qualifying competitors for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the Argentinian couldn’t resist waxing lyrical, telling anecdotes and tales aplenty concerning the sport closest to his coronary heart.
Now 62, Da Fonseca is one of France’s most beloved soccer pundits. For the final 25 years, he has introduced La Liga and South American soccer vividly to life for followers throughout the nation, a lot in order that if he sees one thing exceptional on the sphere of play, he thinks nothing of yelling out loud or breaking into tune or laughter. When he’s on the microphone, something can occur.
“Some pundits play it safe because they’ve got ambitions for the future,” Da Fonseca, who at the moment works for beIN SPORTS, instructed FIFA.com. “Me, I just try to have an identity, to have fun. I’ve got all these cards on which I’ve written sentences, proverbs, oxymorons, and figures of speech. There are also things that just come out of the blue, when the adrenaline is pumping and emotions are running high. I try to be in tune with what I see.”
Admiration for 2 of the very best
No participant excites Da Fonseca greater than his fellow countryman Lionel Messi, whom he admires enormously. “He represents everything that children dream of becoming, especially in Argentina,” he stated. “He’s the first player for whom it’s not all about the result.”
In Da Fonseca’s eyes, the Best FIFA Men’s Player 2019 is a phenomenon that defies description. “Statistics are all the rage these days: the number of kilometres, the number of duels won. He doesn’t always run, though, and when he’s not running he’s thinking. To my mind, it’s better to think than to run around.”
Earlier in his life, there was one other Argentinian participant Da Fonseca admired: Diego Maradona. He rubbed shoulders with the nice No. 10 throughout his temporary worldwide profession, which started when Cesar Luis Menotti referred to as him up within the late Nineteen Seventies.
“There was Maradona and the likes of [Gabriel] Calderon and Ramon Diaz. The first time I saw Diego it was crazy. We knew him as the ‘untouchable guy’. That was the paradoxical thing about Maradona, because he was also a kid from the streets. He was resourceful and had every trick in the book but there was something endearing about him too when he cried.” Da Fonseca’s love for the legendary Argentinian playmaker has stayed true ever since.
In 1984, Maradona signed for Napoli. Two years later, Da Fonseca joined Monaco. “Luckily, we often played on Saturdays in France,” stated the TV pundit. “Whenever he was in the north of Italy, I’d get in my car on a Sunday and go and see him play; it didn’t matter that we’d been called up together or that we played against each other too. It just goes to show how much he blew everyone away, how much he excited us.”
Three to be careful for
Da Fonseca can be getting excited on the prospect of Matchday 4 of the South American qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. In his eyes there are three groups that stand aside:
“Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are stronger than the others because of the players they have. Then there’s Colombia, with [Duvan] Zapata and [Luis] Muriel, two hungry players who combine well and work well. [James] Rodriguez is in form too and [Juan] Cuadrado is still producing. After them, you’ve got Chile, who are starting to age a little, and then Peru and Paraguay. Look out for Ecuador too. They’ve made a really good start.”
He additionally believes there could be a shock or two in retailer, particularly in lately of empty stadiums: “South American fans really get behind their teams and cheer them on. They push the players on and create a hostile atmosphere. So things obviously change when there are no fans in the stadium. I don’t see everything being turned on its head though.”
Did you realize?
- Omar Da Fonseca spent his whole taking part in profession in two leagues: Argentina’s Primera Division with Club Atletico Belgrano and Velez Sarsfield; and France’s Ligue 1 with Tours, Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Toulouse and Paris FC.
- He gained the French title twice: first with PSG in 1986 after which with Monaco in 1988.
- He went one to change into a gamers’ agent after which head of recruitment at Saint-Etienne between 2005 and 2008. He additionally accomplished his first teaching badge, “but it didn’t inspire or motivate me – I didn’t see it as a way for me to flourish”.
- In September this 12 months, he revealed his autobiography Gracias a la Vida (‘Thank You, Life’), during which he talks about his success in having the profession he has had and main a privileged life.
beIN SPORTS broadcasts CONMEBOL qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Australia, New Zealand, France, the Middle East and North Africa.