Skills to Pay the Bills
Daniel Cappellaro born and raised in Perth, known in the street football world as “D10” or in his home state of Western Australia as the “Perth Trickster”, is a ground breaker when it comes to Australian futsal.
Dedicated to the small sided game of futsal and his current team Pascoe Vale, Cappellaro boasts an overwhelmingly impressive resume when it comes to achievements on and off the futsal court. Half Croatian, half Italian and full of flair, Cappellaro is a maestro when it comes to skills both on the futsal court and in street freestyle.
The 29-year old’s love for football started at the tender age of 8, on a family trip but it was not until 8–9 years later that he begun to seriously play the small-sided game. It all started at a recreational centre, much like the one he works at (futsal Oz Mount Evelyn).
Having experience with playing traditional football there was an aspect of futsal that he found very appealing: the fact that “you’re always involved and not too far from the ball”, Cappellaro said. This is different from the traditional outdoor game where play is much more spread out.
Cappellaro’s futsal career began with a recreational team that he created himself named “Blue Brazil”. This came from his team’s admiration of Brazil and Brazilian football sensation Ronaldinho and also to do with the blue kits they played in.
At that point, no one knew or even expected that this recreational team would be a launching pad for a still ongoing illustrious career in the world of futsal.
Almost all young footballers have a footballing influence, Cappellaro is no different. Given how dextrous his street football skills are and 1v1 moves are, it is no surprise that his game has been substantially influenced by Brazilian footballers.
“Growing up I liked Rivaldo, Denillison who did all the tricks; I liked R9 Ronaldo. Moving on from that it was Ronaldinho, Kaka”, stated Cappellaro. His favourite player now is Brazilian trickster and Captain Neymar.
On the futsal court Cappellaro recognises Ricardinho, Falcao and Japanese based Brazilian, Serginho Paulista as his favourite players.
Having been influenced by such skilful players combined with his God given talent for complete ball control and trickery, it is no surprise that Cappellaro exhibits so much style and flair on the court today.
For many young athletes a pathway to their desired sport comes through their parents. Cappellaro credits his parents with being a big part of his football influence; for supporting and guiding him on his incredible footballing journey.
One other major influence for the young star was Alan Ball Jr. Ball was the youngest member of the English football side who won the World Cup in 1966. Ball decided to run a clinic in Perth where a young Daniel Cappellaro promptly attended at the age of 10.
It was here that Cappellaro received some advice that would unwittingly shape his career. Ball told the young kids at the clinic “make sure your first touch is your best one.” “From that day I just wanted to have a great first touch, great ball control, skills; all the technical attributes”, says Cappellaro
This became a primary focus for a young Cappellaro and proceeded to shape the 29-year old’s playing style into what it is today.
When asked about his greatest achievement to date in the sport, Cappellaro answered: “probably being the first Australian to play in the UEFA futsal cup.” For those who don’t know, the UEFA futsal cup is an annual tournament held by the Union of European Football Associations. This is the governing body for both national and club football teams in Europe.
This is one of futsal’s biggest competitions making the achievement for Cappellaro all the more impressive. Cappellaro competed in this tournament for Scottish giants Perth Saltire while on loan from Middlesbrough Futsal Club in the UK.
Despite this enviable achievement, the results didn’t go according to plan with Perth Saltire being eliminated in the group stages in a very tough group C.
Cappellaro has been recognised for his impressive skills and flair as well. Many football fans are familiar with the EA Sport’s gaming branch FIFA and FIFA Street. Within these games participants have the opportunity to customise their own player.
However, due to his reputation as a prominent street footballer and trickster he was immortalised within the game as an unlockable character.
“When I was growing up I always played FIFA, Championship Manager, Pro Evo. I never actually dreamed that it would be possible to have a character in a video game”, said Cappellaro. A tremendous feat for any footballer anywhere and an absolute dream for almost all young football players.
In addition to his prowess on the futsal court. Cappellaro is also known for his street moves. Having a passion for tricks and skills from a young age, Cappellaro stumbled across YouTube clips of Ronaldinho in his younger years.
Cappellaro got a friend to film his futsal games where he would practice all the 1v1 one moves he had picked up and then begun putting these videos on YouTube. It was through this that an Amsterdam-based website noticed his talents.
From this came sponsorship and travel opportunities to places such as: Amsterdam, Argentina, America, Spain, England, Poland, Scotland and all around Australia.
Apart from being a professional athlete Cappellaro also has an entrepreneurial side. #Trickster Apparel is a brand started by Cappellaro and a family friend. “It is designed for kids that are passionate about either football, futsal, street football, tricks, freestyling and want a brand to associate with”, said Cappellaro.
The brand promotes tricky football and aims to give players a chance to establish their style to others without even having to step on the court or kick a ball; a brand for the true trickster.
Aspiring to play for Australia’s national side the Futsalroos, Cappellaro is still on his futsal journey and has many aspirations he’d wish to fulfil on and off the court.
For the full interview with Daniel Cappellaro click here: