Lucas Baldin is only a 22 year old attacking midfielder, Fieldoo power user with an impressive career for his young age. He played for teams from Brazil, Mexico and the United States where he is currently studying and playing for the University of South Florida.
Describe yourself as a footballer? How do you remember your beginnings? Why football at all?
I am an attacking midfielder with very good technique and passing skills. My biggest strengths are the last pass and set pieces. I also play as a box-to-box midfielder and as a defensive midfielder.
My beginning in football was actually playing futsal, like all the Brazilian players do. I chose football because of my dad. On the weekends, when I was 4 years old, I used to wake up at 7a.m. and went to my soccer club to practice for hours with my dad. He is the reason why I am still chasing my dream.
You have experienced youth football in Brazil, Mexico and United States. We could say that you experienced three totally different football philosophies. How would you describe football in all three countries? What are the main differences and where do you see the connections, similarities?
Brazil and Mexico are two countries with a lot of similarities when developing players. They focus a lot on the technical abilities of their players. If the player is good, his height and/or size do not matter.
In the United States, football is more physical. Americans are great athletes so the game is fast and powerful. However, you can see that nowadays, Americans are improving a lot regarding their technical abilities. They are definitely catching up with all other football powers around the world.
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You are a footballer that knows that education is as important as sport. Can you tell us more about your education in the University of South Florida? What are the characteristics of university’s football in America and how it’s like to play in MLS?
To be able to play the sport that I love and receive an education as well is a win-win situation, but some people think that the level of college soccer is bad and that’s not true at all. You can see that MLS is improving drastically and a lot of that is because of the improvement of college soccer. It’s really common to see teams keeping the ball on the ground, doing 1-2s, playing Barcelona-style football. Also, MLS is a league that is growing more and more each year. I had the opportunity to practice with the Seattle Sounders first team and there were some great players there, like Osvaldo Alonso and Mauro Rosales. Everyone should definitely keep an eye on MLS.
Brazil is going to host the world cup in football in the next year. What do you expect from the competition in your home country? Brazil is a favourite on home ground but that brings big pressure on the home team, how do the footballers cope with it? Who are the main rivals for the title? Will you go to see some matches live, on the stadium?
I believe that this upcoming World Cup is going to be one of the best sporting events that have ever happened because of the atmosphere that Brazil gives to soccer. For footballers, pressure will always exist. You have to be able to handle the pressure otherwise you will not make it far in the soccer world. In my eyes, besides Brazil, Argentina is a true candidate to win the World Cup, because they will be basically playing at home too. I really do not know if I am going to be able to watch some matches live on the stadium because I hope that at that time I will already have a contract with a club and in that case I will not have a lot of free time.
Did you ever count how many times you juggled the ball? What was your highest number?
I think the last time that I counted how many times I juggled the ball was 4 years ago. I remember that I did over 1,000 and then I stopped because I was bored.
Moving from the football to the internet … Why did you decide to join Fieldoo, the Football Career Network for players & agents? Who would you recommend it to?
I joined because Fieldoo gives opportunities to a lot of players that did not have the chance to showcase themselves in a better environment. I would definitely recommend it because it is the future of football scouting.
Who would be your pick: Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Why? Would you rather choose some other player from Brazil or clubs you played in for example? Who was your idol in your youth years?
In my opinion, Messi is nowadays the best player in the world but I really hope that Neymar performs amazingly in the World Cup so we can get that sixth trophy.
Since when I was young, my biggest idol has been Kaka. First, he is a great player, he plays in the same position as I play and he is a huge role model for me, not just because the way he plays but also because of the way he takes care of himself on and off the field.
What’s your biggest football success so far?
If there is one thing that I am really proud of is the fact that the person who invited me to play with Deportivo Toluca was Jose Manuel de la Torre, (former head coach of the Mexican national team) when he used to be the head coach of Toluca’s first team. To be recognized by a very important coach like him is a great honour for me.
What do you think about the Minguella Challenge – a way of searching for the new Messi through Fieldoo and similar Fieldoo challenges? Where would you like to play in the future?
I think the Minguella Challenge was a great opportunity for all players around the world. Spain is one of the best places for football and it is a huge step for every player to play there. I would like to play in Europe because of the technical level of the leagues.
Last question: do you remember the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a football field?
It’s hard to remember one funny thing that has happened to me on a football field but I can definitely think about a lot of things that happened outside the field. All soccer players know the environment in the locker room is great, the pranks when travelling are hilarious and that you can’t laugh when the coach is doing a serious speech because you can expect to see yourself getting some sort of punishment because of that.
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