Michael Regan/Getty Images

Strong family life propels Leicester’s Christian Fuchs

Leave a comment

If you didn’t follow him on Twitter or watch any of his quirky videos with teammates, you’d think Leicester City defender Christian Fuchs is an ordinary footballer.

That simply isn’t the case.

[ WATCH: Every PL game on Live Extra

In a phone interview with ProSoccerTalk, Raluca Gold-Fuchs, Christian’s wife, made it more apparent why he has become a fan favorite at the King Power Stadium.

“I think a big part of it is the natural side of him,” said Gold-Fuchs. “He’s definitely a very funny guy. He has a good base which makes him comfortable to joke around and I believe lately that it also has to do with the club and where he is that he feels even more comfortable. The guys are very funny, they joke around a lot and they need that as part of their intense daily routines.”

From rousing games of rock, paper, scissors to juggling a ball with teammate Shinji Okazaki on stationary bicycles (found below), Fuchs has found a way to always create stability and a positive attitude this season, while Leicester’s storybook season heads to its fairytale ending.

By now almost everyone is aware of the journey that the Foxes have taken to reach the summit of the Premier League. With a five-point cushion and four matches to play, they host Swansea City this Sunday (Watch live, 11:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra), Leicester is closing in on one of the greatest stories in all of sport.

“I think they have raised awareness of soccer in general,” Gold-Fuchs said of Leicester’s accomplishments. “For all the Americans that only knew four or five clubs in England, they now know Leicester and Tottenham. There’s these other clubs and it’s not as predictable as soccer in other countries. I think it really helps people understand how good English soccer is and how completely unpredictable it is.”

Like the millions around the world that have witnessed Leicester’s Cinderella story in 2015-16, Gold-Fuchs is among the enamored.

“This is a special club,” Gold-Fuchs said. “The energy and relationship that the team has together is extremely pleasant and it helps them fight hard for what they want. The chemistry that they have, in addition to with their coach, is very important.”

The attention drawn to Leicester has certainly put Fuchs on the map as a standout wing back, however, the experience he is set to undergo this summer is something that he could have only dreamt of.

[ MORE: Analyzing Leicester, Spurs’ remaining games

Fuchs came up through the ranks of the Austria national team, and has been a staple of the country’s backline for the past decade. In June, Fuchs and Austria will make their second European Championship appearance in France. After recording just one goal in the 2008 Euro group stage, the team will be out to do something it has never done: advance to the knockout phase.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - OCTOBER 12: Christian Fuchs of Austria controls the ball during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier between Austria and Liechtenstein at Ernst Happel Stadion on October 12, 2015 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – OCTOBER 12: Christian Fuchs of Austria controls the ball during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier between Austria and Liechtenstein at Ernst Happel Stadion on October 12, 2015 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)

Fuchs, Austria’s captain, has always devoted himself to both club and country, and this summer could be his team’s first step toward qualifying for 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“He’s very proud of that,” Gold-Fuchs said. “He’s been with the team since he was 15, I believe. Everything that he does is with a lot of passion and love. He doesn’t do anything half way. That for him is something that he devotes himself to 100 percent. He’s so proud to be on the team and to be going to the European Championship for the first time this summer. He’s a proud captain and devoted to both club and country.”

Watching her husband’s success is just one of the many things that Gold-Fuchs does on a regular basis. Raluca and the family’s two children — sons Ethan and Anthony — live in New York City, a treacherous commute from Leicester. In addition to her role as owner of Ra Entertainment, Raluca is very much involved in charity work, which landed her in the Big Apple.

They travel out to England every few weeks to watch Christian perform, and catch the rest of the matches on television back in the states.

When she’s not making the 3,000-plus mile journey overseas to see their hero play, Raluca keeps tabs on the soccer academy that the family kicked off in 2014. Fox Soccer Academy was Fuchs’ way of giving back to the local community in New York, while also providing a professional environment for young players to develop. The academy even provides players with the opportunity to travel to Europe if they meet a certain standard.

SWANSEA, WALES - DECEMBER 05: Christian Fuchs of Leicester in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Leicester City at Liberty Stadium on December 5, 2015 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

The training program features numerous current and former players, in addition to coaches that have taught at the highest levels of the game, including Austria Wien goalkeeper Robert Almer and Heinz Griesmayer.

“It’s his way of giving back to the youths,” Gold-Fuchs explained. “He spends a lot of time in New York. My oldest son has been to some of the soccer camps here and Christian felt that the quality wasn’t up to par, so it’s his way of giving back to the community. The Fox Soccer Academy is in its second year and it’s his way of trying to teach children the professional way of learning soccer.

The Fuchs family already has a packed schedule to tend to, but the 30-year-old defender has another idea for what his future holds.

Fuch recently made headlines both in the U.S. and England after professing his desire to attempt to play in the NFL once his soccer career has concluded, as a kicker if that were any shock. It wouldn’t be the first time an athlete has tried their hand at a different sport. Just ask NBA legend Michael Jordan.

It is clear that Fuchs has the backing of his family no matter which goal he chooses to tackle. Whether that is playing in the NFL or launching his NoFuchsGiven collection, the defender has complete support from his wife, who jokingly says she wouldn’t mind having him in the same country.

“I support him in everything he wants to do,” Gold-Fuchs said. “Just like I tell our children, just go for it. Why not try it if it’s something that’s stuck in your brain? Otherwise how can you sleep at night? It’s definitely something he wants to do. He was initially toying with the idea, then tried kicking the ball around and saw that he could do it. He got this reassurance and encouragement, so why not?”

Follow @MattReedFutbol

What we love about Tottenham

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up is Tottenham.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to take a closer look at Spurs.


Harry Kane: Since emerging in the first-team scene under Mauricio Pochettino during the 2014-15 campaign, Harry Kane has skyrocketed in Tottenham’s list of greats. The Spurs youth product hit the ground running under the Argentine, finishing as the club’s leading goalscorer of the aforementioned season, and becoming an instant fan favorite.

Kane – who is currently recovering from a left hamstring injury – didn’t stop there; he made sure he was far removed from being a one-hit wonder. As a result, the 26-year-old has lead Spurs in scoring for five straight seasons, placing him third in Tottenham’s all-time goalscoring list. Outside of Jermaine Defoe, no other player in Spurs’ modern day history has had such impact on the offensive side of the game. 

Jose Mourinho: Wherever Jose Mourinho goes, the lights and cameras follow. That reality is no different at Tottenham, as the storied Portuguese manager has brought all of his pros and cons with him to Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium.

After runs with Chelsea and Manchester United, one might have thought that his and Spurs’ paths would never cross, but in November 2019, after Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking, Mourinho became the boss at Tottenham. Life thus far at the helm of the north London side hasn’t been ideal for him, crashing out of Champions League play and sitting eighth on the table. But a manager of Mourinho’s stature is definitely not worth crossing off – whether he’d be at Chelsea, Manchester United ⬇️or Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: In addition to having a proven goalscorer and manager in their ranks, Tottenham have the privilege of playing home games in England’s newest and most technologically advanced football stadium: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The 62,000-capacity state-of-the-art stadium features a retractable field, a microbrewery, an in-house bakery, heated seats with USB ports, the longest bar in the UK among others unimaginable extras for a sports venue. The stadium opened in April 2019, and replaced the legendary White Hart Lane.

What we love about Watford

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up is Watford.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to take a closer look at the Hornets.


Troy Deeney: Troy Deeney is – and has been – the face of Watford since his move from Walsall in 2010. A move that came about after Deeney, a Birmingham native and Birmingham City supporter growing up, submitted a written transfer request to exit a then-League One side to make his way to the Championship. His first year at Vicarage, however, was rough. The striker managed to score only two goals in 36 league appearances, raising questions about whether or not Deeney was built survive outside England’s third division.

Since that trying first year with the Hornets, Deeney hasn’t looked back, making his way into the “Watford’s best players ever” conversation with a remarkable 129 goals in 388 appearances. Only club legends Luther Blissett – considered by many as the best Hornet ever – and John Barnes have more top-flight gals than Deeney himself. 

Historical, last-gasp win against Leicester City: May 2013, Vicarage Road. Leicester City’s Anthony Knockaert goes down in the box after minimal contact with a Watford defender. A penalty is called in the visitor’s favor. The aggregate stands at 2-2 as the clocks ticks the final seconds of a two-legged Championship play-off semifinal between the Hornets and the Foxes. Knockaert’s shot from the spot – directed right down the middle, with pace – is blocked. His second chance as well. Watford recover and immediately go back the other way.

 

Only seconds remain before the head official sends the match to penalty kicks, but Watford is looking for the final blow. Fernando Forestieri desperately sends a textbook cross inside the box. Jonathan Hogg meets the ball midair and heads it into an incoming Deeney, who seals a goal – and celebration – for the ages.

The Watford-Elton John connection: While Manchester City may have Oasis brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher rooting them on, Watford count on the support of multi-generational musician Elton John. A lifelong Hornet supporter, the English rock legend has done more than just “support” the club from the stands, though. 

In 1976, Elton John became Watford’s chairman and director. He eventually sold the club in 1987 before re-purchasing it a decade later from Jack Petchey. John no longer owns his childhood team, but he remains a part of the club as the honorary life-president.

Premier League Rivalries: North London derby

Leave a comment

One of England’s longest-running and most competitive encounters, the North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal makes for one of greatest rivalries in Premier League.

The matchup dates back to the early 20th century and has added tons of thrilling chapters to its book of history. Since the start of the Premier League era, both clubs are constantly competing not only to outdo one another but to make a name for themselves at the top echelons of European football.

The North London derby is much more than two rivals facing off for 90 minutes, it’s the dichotomy between the two ways of living in modern-day north London.

Pro Soccer Talk’s Joe Prince-Wright dives into the derbies origin, its development and its actual reality.

The 2 Robbies Podcast: Adapting to life without football

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Robbie Earle & Robbie Mustoe touch base on how their each adapting to day-to-day life without any professional football action worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic (0:40), how the game moves forward from here (4:50) and what certain players, coaches and teams have done to help out amid trying times (14:00). Plus, discussion on what they’ve been doing to stay active and healthy while living safely in isolation (23:00).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]