In our new series, 10 Questions with a Pro, I chatted with AC Oulu goalkeeper David Monsalve.
David Monsalve currently plays for AC Oulu in the 2nd Division in Finland, but his past clubs include Toronto FC (MLS), FC Inter Turku (Finland) & FC Edmonton (NASL). He has also represented Canada in all the different age groups, from U17 to the senior squad.
FootyFair: Growing up, what was your fondest memory of the World Cup?
David Monsalve: My fondest memory of the World Cup was watching my idol play with his iconic hair style. Carlos Valderrama with his crazy hair and smooth style of play immediately caught my eye and ever since then he has been someone i idolize.
FF: If you could pick any current player at the World Cup and have the ability to replace yourself with him, whom would that be and why?
DM: James Rodriguez. If I could represent any other country in the world besides Canada it would be Colombia. It would be extremely fun to take on his role as N10 and be the play maker of the team.
FF: Canada has only qualified once to the World Cup. Being Canadian and having played for Canada, what do you think is missing from the program that would allow Canada to move forward and qualify for the next World Cup?
DM: This is a very difficult question and it should be left for experts. I think our national soccer program it has been put in the hands of someone who is qualified and experienced in the football world. The CSA has left it in the hands of Benito Floro and from what I hear from my friends on the team, everyone is pleased with the direction it is taking. Hopefully we can qualify for Russia 2018.
FF: What are your routines/habits the night before a big match?
DM: I just try to eat the best I can and drink a lot of water. As for my routine, I would rather keep that to myself.
FF: You have played in MLS and Europe. What are the biggest differences between playing in MLS and in Europe?
DM: First of all I think it is important to point out that Europe is a big continent with countries that have a very high quality of football, very bad quality of football and everything in between. I think Finland falls somewhere in between very good and very bad. It is a small country in terms of football but has decent quality of players and a very good development programs. Having said that, I think MLS in terms of quality would also fall in between good and bad. If you were to take away the foreign players in both leagues and base it simply on home grown talent, both leagues would be very similar to each other and it would be very hard to differentiate between the two.
FF: From all the matches you have played, which one is the most memorable and why?
DM: I've had great memories. All my debuts are memorable, but I've been lucky to play in Europa League qualifying game in front of 20,000 fans. The game was in Belgium against GENK, and in their net there was no other than Courtois, the current Belgian national team keeper and La Liga winner with Atletico Madrid. Looking back now, it stands out to me because of the fact it was a Europa League game and because I played against a world class goalkeeper. That to me is motivating and tells me everything is possible.
FF: If you had a chance to play in the EPL, Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga which one would be your pick and why?
DM: I wish I had that problem, maybe one day I will have it, but if i had the choice I would have to say Serie A. I have always dreamed of playing for Inter Milan and also the Italian style of play suites my qualities. La Liga would also be somewhere I know I would enjoy, most of all because of the lifestyle. It is something that any footballer would enjoy and that is very important.
FF: At what point of your development did you know that you had what it took to be a professional player?
DM: I think it was the moment when I was chosen for the U20 Canadian national team. I looked around and saw players I grew up playing with or against, that at that time were playing overseas. It occurred to me that I was good enough to keep up with them and with more work I could be good enough to continue my career. Perhaps one day I could reach my goals. It was a huge motivation to see guys from my town doing great things in Europe.
FF: Did you always have a passion for goalkeeping or it was something that in time you fell into it?
DM: I didn't find a passion for goalkeeping until my professional career started. Only then did I accept that my days on the field were over. It is something I am very happy with and feel extremely passionate about.
FF: If you could pick any current World Cup player and any former World Cup player to take a penalty shot against you in a cup final, who would that be?
DM: If I could pick two players to save their penalty shots, I would have to pick Lionel Messi and Ronaldo (The best and original Ronaldo).
We, at FootyFaire, would like to thank David Monsalve for his time to sit down withme and participate in "10 Questions with a Pro". Until next time.