Rocco Placentino: When passion turns into a profession

100And CF Montreal’s victory over Stade Saputo on April 23 was especially significant for Prairivois native and former Saint-Léonard FC player Rocco Placentino. He scored Impact’s first goal at Stade Saputo in 2008, and the current sporting director of CS Saint-Laurent is back with metro In a busy profession, and on imparting values ​​to youth through sports.

Rocco Placentino may repeat that football is his life, and we can only see it when he talks to us about it.

Prairivois of Italian descent claims to have started his amateur career at the age of three, thanks to his family who have “football in their genes”. Very early on, young Rocco started dreaming big.

“I am fortunate to have my parents and an older brother who passed on to me a love of the sport. Already, at that age, football was my life, and it still is. I have always said – and even in my graduation album – that I wanted to be a professional footballer.

chasing a dream

Rocco, who is considering moving to Italy at the age of 16 to fulfill his dream, recalls a difficult experience, but a necessary sacrifice.

“In the past, there was a big difference between Europe and Quebec, where there were not many sports studies or football training programs. In Italy, “football” is a religion. So I decided to leave,” shares Montrealer.

Constant sacrifices and guarantees to pursue such a life, it is certainly not easy. At sixteen years old you are still a child. I missed my family and friends so much, but that allowed me to grow up and be independent.

Rocco Placentino, sporting director of CS Saint-Laurent and former Montreal Impact player.

After a short spell with Montreal Impact from 2000 to 2002, Rocco set out to conquer Europe, enjoying a prolific 9-year career at Italian second and third division clubs.

Back to Quebec

Then, at the end of his career, Rocco Placentino “returned to his homeland”, to Quebec, where he signed a contract with Montreal Impact for three seasons.

“I decided to return to Quebec in 2008, because Impact is becoming more and more prestigious, with a new stadium and a serious project,” he says.

On the afternoon of June 8, 2008, it was he who scored Impact’s first goal at Stade Saputo. A symbolic goal for the fans, but above all, a very special moment for Rocco.

“Yes, it was the first goal at Stade Saputo, but for me it was more than that because I was born in Rivière-des-Prairies, and I grew up here in this community. Scoring a goal in front of all my fans, my family, my friends, it was a dream.”

In 2013, the No. 9 will finally join his former teammates in Impact for his final year of fun at Saint-Léonard FC.

“I was able to find Sando Grande, Hisham Abobo and our former coach Andrea de Petrantonio. It was a special year where we had a lot of fun,” he recalls.

Football as a vector of values

The former midfielder has been the coach of CS Saint-Laurent since 2012.

“I love sports and working with young people. I am very happy to give something to the community with my passion.”

My goal is to put a smile on the face of all the young people who practice this sport. It was always my goal. After that, if there are those with the ability to become a professional, that’s just a bonus.

Rocco Placentino, sporting director of CS Saint-Laurent and former Montreal Impact player.

For Rocco, sport is a way to transmit positive values ​​and bring young people together.

“What distinguishes the sport is that it is global. Here, at CS Saint-Laurent, we have more than 160 nationalities rubbing shoulders. Every young man makes friends from different backgrounds. For this reason, I believe that football will continue to grow in Quebec.”

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