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Extensive Interview with Uganda Cranes defender Elio Capradossi

Prior to the game against Botswana, not so many knew about Elio Capradossi or even knew what the slender defender was capable of. However, his brilliant display on Friday night at Mandela National Stadium has left many waxing lyrical about the 28-year old calmness , composure and intelligence.

To some that needed to dig more information about the Italy-based defender, google came in handy and football enthusiasts know a thing or two about Capradossi.

FUFA Communications Department had a sit down interview with Capradossi and here are some of the excerpts. For purposes of this interview, we will refer to FUFA Communications as FUFA COMM while Elio Capradossi will be referred to as EC.

FUFA COMM: First things first, how did you feel about earning your debut for the Cranes.?

EC: I played my usual game because I was already bonded with other players who had helped me from day one. I am grateful because it was a nice experience and emotional because of the atmosphere created by the fans and my family was also here to support me.

FUFA COMM: Briefly who is Elio Capradossi?

EC: My name is Elio Capradossi, I was born in Kampala, my father is from Rome, Italy and my mother was from Kampala.

FUFA COMM: When did you leave Uganda for Italy?

EC: I was still little. I think like one year old so I don’t remember well. But I asked my father and he told me a lot of stories. We were living in Entebbe at that time and my father had a restaurant there. He stayed there for some years and later went back to Rome. I have also lived most of my life in Rome.

FUFA COMM: How often do you visit Uganda?

EC: I always come back like in holidays especially and when I was young I regularly visited Uganda. I also took an effort to visited the rest of East Africa.

FUFA COMM: How and when did you start playing football?

EC: I don’t know. I just found myself playing football.  But what I remember we used to play with my father because he also likes football. So, we played together at home. Then, I also played with my friends when we were little, on the streets, and we played anywhere there was space.  Step by step I understood that I was able. So, I tried to chase this dream.

FUFA COMM: Who did you grow looking up to?

EC: When I was young, in Rome there was Juan the Brazilian Defender. He was playing with Brazil and Rome.  I liked him very much. I always watched Roma matches and admired him. I always tried to play like him.

FUFA COMM: What are you key attributes as a player?

EC: I’m a defender, so I like to be aggressive but also like to play by starting attacks, long passes and very strong in aerial duels.

FUFA COMM: Why did you decide to switch allegiance from Italy to Uganda?

EC: I had an opportunity to play for Italy because I was already in the set up having played for the Junior National Teams but never made it to the senior team. Recently, Coach Paul Put called and he told me there is this possibility of playing for Uganda ans asked if I would take up the opportunity of being part of this team. I was very proud to receive this call.

FUFA COMM: How did your family react about this opportunity to play for Uganda?

EC: They were very happy especially my father. He is a football fan and my number one fan too. That is why  he also came to watch me making my debut for Uganda. So it is very good for me and my family as well.

FUFA COMM: What should Ugandans expect from you?

EC: I hope to do the best, I am new here so I’m trying to learn and to know my teammates. We need to do our best because we have very important matches ahead of us.

FUFA COMM: Tell us about the new teammates, how has been the reception?

EC: I find the team very good, there is good atmosphere. It is nice to be here, so I’m really happy because I am back to my roots.  It’s not easy to quickly bond but they have  helped me from the first day  especially Nelson Senkatuka, so I feel good and I think it is a good thing, we can do good things.

FUFA COMM: How best can you utilise your vast experience to help the team get better?

EC: This calls for a collective effort not me alone. Football is a team sport and together we can do great things which cannot be done by an individual.  I’m not here to change anything or everybody,  I’m just a player and I will try to do my best to bring all the experience that I have.

FUFA COMM: What is your best moment in your football career so far?

EC: When I played my first senior match for Roma, I was in their youth setup for a while and playing for the first team was a huge milestone for me. The other high in my career was when I played with Spezia in Serie B, we won the playoffs and we earned promotion to Serie A for the first time in the history of the club.

FUFA COMM: In conclusion, what is your message to Ugandans ahead of the game against Algeria on Monday.

EC: I call upon them to turn up in big numbers like they did on Friday. Come and support us and we hope to get another good result to make them happy.

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