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Know Your Strikers: Fafà Picault

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Fafà Picault sat down with us after training for a Q&A session.

Read the transcript of our conversation below:

on his background…
I’m from Manhattan, but we moved to Miami when I was nine years old.

on when he knew he wanted to play professionally…
I’ve been playing soccer since I was two. My father played and my grandfather [Max Antoine] played with the Haitian national team. I probably told my mom that I wanted to be a professional when I was just three years old. She took it as a joke, but I was dead serious.

on his experience in Europe…
I went to Italy when I was 16 to play for Cagliari Calcio. It did me a lot of good learning the tactical style over there. They are extremely passionate about the game. I didn’t have many chances with the first team so I left and went on trial with PSG in 2011. It went really well but I didn’t have a Haitian or French passport at the time, so I would have counted over their foreign player limit.

on coming back to the States…
It was cool coming back home. I ran into a lot of buddies that I played with in the US U-20 team, like Gale [Agbossoumonde] and Nick [Millington]. I did the NASL Combine in 2012 and ended up signing with Tampa Bay Rowdies for the year. We went to the finals against Minnesota and won. I had to readjust to the style of soccer here, since was completely different than Italy, but it was a good experience.

on his career highlights…
My first call-up to the [United States] U-20s. I was in Italy at the time and so used to only speaking Italian that coming back was like a breath of fresh air. I think each moment has had its significance at the point in my life. The move to Italy, moving back to the States, going to Mexico to train last year, and now signing here… every moment has had its significance.

on his first few days with the Strikers…
I know a lot of the guys on the team and I’ve played with them at some point previously. The experience has been good. We definitely have good talented, technical players, and in the locker room the guys are all cool. It should be a team that will gel well and once preseason is over I’m sure we’ll have a good season.

on coach Kronsteiner…
He’s very knowledgeable about the game. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from him, both individually and then applying it to the team. He’s very serious about the game which matches how I am about it.

on his versatility…
I prefer to play as a false forward, maybe slanting off to the left side, but I can play left wing, right wing, second forward… pretty much anywhere in the attack except for a ‘pure nine’ center forward.

on what he brings to the team…
Speed, technique, and I use both feet almost equally. I like to create and pass the ball a lot if I can find an open man.

on his goals for the season…
Should be the same goal as everybody on the team: to win. I want to get as many points as possible and win the Spring season. Also, to improve as a player. At 23, I’m at a point where I just want to excel. I’ve had a lot of experience at different places and now I just want to take off and allow my talent to blossom into the player I know I should be.

on his goals for the future…
Possibly returning to Europe at some point and having a good career over there if I’m given the opportunity again. Maybe at some point to get back to the national team. And just to improve as a player. I know I have it in me; I just have to work hard and keep my mind focused on that.

on how he spends his free time…
I don’t really concentrate on anything off the field; it’s just about soccer for me. I’m involved at lot at church. And of course I enjoy spending time at home, with my family, and my girlfriend.

on his favorite teams…
Right now Arsenal, Milan, Roma, Real Madrid.

on his favorite players…
So many… [Nicholas] Anelka, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Kaká, and [Zinedine] Zidane. And Robinho, I loved watching him as a kid because he’s skinny like me! I looked up to these guys a lot. Fabrice Pancrate was a professional mentor and brother to me, and Pelé is my idol. Off the field, Kaká since we share the same faith so it’s cool to watch a player who shares your beliefs in the professional soccer world.

on his faith…
It’s comes first in my life, the most important thing. I fall in line with that and everything else comes second. Obviously [my faith] doesn’t collide with soccer; in fact, I think being a good Christian has helped me with soccer. It makes everything else easier.

on the toughest player he has faced…
It was an indoor game in Paris, but [former France international] Lillian Thuram. He was still so good even after he stopped playing.

on the best player he has played with…
Lucas Lobos. When I went to Tigres [to train] I was working with Lucas and we had the best chemistry that I’ve had with a player, ever. I’ve played with a lot of good players, but Lucas Lobos, without a doubt is ridiculous!  Also, Radja Nainggolan [at Cagliari]. He’s such a solid player and was really underrated at the time. He blossomed like nobody expected and is doing really well at Roma now.

on the World Cup…
I’m looking forward to it. My winner... probably Brazil. They're at home and the team looks complete. They’re missing a number 9, but you can’t ever count them out, especially at home. Germany should do well. My dark horse team… Belgium.

on the United States' chances…
The U.S. has a very hard group [on paper], but once you’re on the field paper goes away. It is a tough group, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

 

Others in the 'Know Your Strikers' series: Shawn Chin

This preseason remember to stay tuned to Strikers.com for all the latest news, recaps and features from South Florida's professional soccer team. Like the Strikers on Facebook.com/FTLStrikers and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FTLStrikers.

The Strikers season kicks off April 12th against Ottawa Fury FC at Lockhart Stadium. Season tickets for the 2014 campaign are on sale by calling 954-606-0400 or at www.strikers.com.

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