How did you decide to play soccer, especially as a goalkeeper?
Some of us might have started playing soccer because their boyfriends played soccer at school and you liked to do so with them. However, most of us often got to play soccer from home. At Lucca Mantione it is no different. Of course his daddy was a soccer player himself and a big supporter of Standard Luik. Unlike his daddy, Lucca didn’t have the genes to walk a lot. He couldn’t do it well and maybe he didn’t like it either, but the fun for the ball was no less and so he ended up in the goal. A choice he certainly shouldn’t complain about to this day.
What goalkeepers do you admire?
The name Montione says it a bit that there are Italian roots in the family. So you shouldn’t go far to find one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Gianluigi Buffon. We’re not going to start talking about this goalkeeper’s record or we’re still writing here tomorrow, but we do want to give you another nice anecdote. Sorry Carlo, but you’re not Lucca’s real daddy. Buffon is his real daddy :-D. Just to give you the love and passion for this goalkeeper of already 42.
How would you define yourself as a goalkeeper?
Since we’ve known Lucca for a long time, we’re going to answer this question for him, because sometimes it’s just hard to look at yourself. As a young goalkeeper, it’s often not easy to make the transition from IP to Elite. Many goalkeepers think that’s only one stop higher and that’s right, but every goalkeeper who has made this step will be able to tell that there’s so much more to it. It’s often in the details. These days, there are certainly IP teams that put soccer first, but unfortunately, at this level, you also come across teams that dare to play the proverbial “lel”.
In the beginning that was just a working point for Lucca Mantione. Coming from an IP team where you sometimes get a ball played back, but where the emphasis was not on output balls in different positions. After a lot of hard work, not only we, but his team as a whole saw huge improvements in this, which blew several people away. Unlike many goalkeepers, we also know Lucca as a goalkeeper who needs stress to perform. So the “top” matches are often TOP at Lucca, maybe just because that stress comes up? We can only say one thing. Chapeau for the sacrifices you’re already making to make it. Keep working the way you’re doing and I’m sure it will all work out.
What do you think is the most important quality a goalkeeper should have?
The attackers often know that a goalkeeper will be under a lot of pressure and try to make them go into the foul as much as possible. Knowing that if the goalkeeper makes a mistake it will score a goal in 9 out of 10 cases. As a goalkeeper, it is therefore very important that your left and right feet are almost as good In this way, as the goalkeeper, you do not have to think about placing the ball in front of your other foot and you can immediately respond to the freestanding man
Did you expect your career as a goalkeeper to turn out the way she does now?
A career in soccer never turns out the way you expect. There will always be unexpected moments that you have to learn to deal with. Football is a world of trial and error and moving on. Some will make it and others won’t. Often it’s not the great talents that break through, but the hard workers. They have to get up every day to measure themselves against the best talents.
How do you prepare yourself and your gloves for a competition?
At Lucca Mantione standard Liège is, until recently, a concept that can even be found in the stands at every home match. Not really fun to miss a game on Friday evening of your favorite club, but also not feasible if you have to be able to start the game fresh on Saturday morning. It’s just one of the sacrifices Lucca makes to get his games off to a good start. The drive of about 80km to Leuven is enough time to focus on the match.
As for his gloves, Lucca always carries 3 pairs of gloves in his sports bag. 2 pairs of normal goalkeeper gloves and 1 pair of the aqua model. This way he has a wide choice and he can always choose the right pair to start the match. In normal circumstances an ordinary pair, but as soon as it gets a little wetter or there is precipitation he goes for the Aqua model.
And how many gloves do you usually wear each year?
A 6 to 8 pairs a year.
Which brands did you play with before you discovered Prostar?
Real the Belgian brand par excellence we have undoubtedly all had at one time or another. Lucca Mantione has also had other brands such as Reusch and KA. As a young goalkeeper, don’t try to pin yourself on one glove, but try different ones while you still can. That’s why it shouldn’t be from another brand, but definitely try the different cuts. Only by trying can you as a goalkeeper say what suits you best.
Why did you start playing with ProStar or are you still playing with ProStar and didn’t go back to a well-known brand?
Prostar has known Lucca Mantione since before the brand was on the market. So the step from his brand to Prostar was quickly made. It’s easy to hear you think now, but quality still comes first. As a goalkeeper it’s of course your job to grab balls and that only works with quality material. Even the Elite level is often recorded very professionally by the youngsters. So the material we use has to meet these expectations and you can find all that in the goalkeeper gloves of Prostar. Even my size 6 has the same quality as my professional dad (Buffon) would use.
What’s the hardest thing for a goalkeeper?
As a goalkeeper, you have to be able to deal with enormous pressure. You’ll know before we start the game every mistake you make could mean losing your team. You often feel that stress from the first second you step onto the field. It’s not easy to get it under control, but this is where you recognize the big one. Performing under pressure, not given to everyone, but so important when you want to make it into a big idol of later on maybe other youth leaders.
Finally, what advice would you give a young goalie?
Last time we’re gonna say it. Italians are people with a big heart, with a lot of passion. So do what you think you should do as a goalie. Listen to the advice of your coach, goalkeeper and don’t forget your parents, but don’t forget to listen to your heart!
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