By means of Clement Mazella
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Facing Pau, Angel Capuozzo had his first tenure at Toulouse Stadium. A game where he pulled out of the game, even if overall “there were more downs than ups”. Rugby News went to meet him. The 23-year-old boy, calm and thoughtful, returned to her tourand gives us a lotanecdotes.
A child with a very strong character
Born in Grenoble in 1999, in Italian origin but also has a Malagasy paternal grandfather, Ange Capuozzo is a “very fast” boy. “I need to express myself physically, move, go outside, get fresh air, ride a bike, play football, make a rugby pass… I’m outside”, he told us. His parents contributed to this. Between his 5-12 years, there was no TV. In short, the console, far from it, makes way for wide open spaces. And especially his dad. “I got a chance to play with him a lot. In football, in boxing… He allowed me to win, of course,” he smiled.
His first sport? Judo. “To channel me. I also like to have good contact with other children”. He discovered rugby at the age of 6, and started in the U7 category at US Deux-Ponts. Jack-of-all-trades, Ange tried football, because of the importance of this game in his family. “But it is impossible to do both. In the end I was bitten by rugby since my youngest age, so I quit for the oval ball”. Soon, he tried his hand in Burmese boxing for a year and a half, but also in English boxing. “When you go up to the category of rugby, it takes a lot of time and energy, so we have to leave all these activities”.
Dominici and Clerc wished him young
Rugby has been Ange Capuozzo’s passion since childhood. His childhood idol. He said, without thinking too much: Christopher Dominici. “I like his style, I recognize myself in his avoidance of rugby. He also has this grit, this anger, this raw soul, and if you’re a viewer, that’s what you want. That twinkle in the eye is something. I’ve always loved this player.”
From Grenoble, the current Toulouse winger is also stirring up the local Vincent Clerc. “I am also a fan of him. How many times has he made me dream of these XV stunts in France? A great player.”
As a teenager, a South African conquered it: Mr. Aplon. “He really influenced me. When I was little, I had a helmet, I took it off at the age of 11-12. And when he arrived in Grenoble, I was in the Cadets, and I put my helmet back just to imitate him. I was introduced to him, he had a magic, he rocked any meeting”.
He faced young Romain Ntamack
Ange Capuozzo gives us another anecdote: young, he faced Romain Ntamack, his current partner in Toulouse. This was during his 2nd tournament at FCG, near Montpellier. “Roman is in front of us. I met his dad, Emile, it’s a sacred memory. Already, having been in the skin of the enemy, we now have the image of a big club, a big force. We lost, of course. Stade Toulousain took a bunch of semi-finals or finals from me (laughs). There was a brilliant 99-2000 generation, they won a lot,” recalled the Italian international (5 caps).
He is a true football fan
If he gives his priority to rugby, Ange Capuozzo is however soccer fan, a sport that is very important to his family. His favorite club? the FC Napoli. Inevitably, if you have a family with Neapolitan origins… “I love this club, especially through the legend of Diego Maradona”, he insisted.
He admitted to following the results of this team with attention. “I saw their game in the European Cup against Liverpool where they put 4. Last week, I also saw the game that won AC Milan. They started the season very well, but I don’t really believe in this season” And in France? “Olympic Marseille. I have this culture for OM because I am a child of the 2000s,” he joked.
Happy with the Italian title in 2006
His first big football memory? The 2006 World Cup. And if France loses on penalties, Ange Capuozzo on his side will be very happy. The reason? The winner was none other than Italy. “Really, I’m happy. I am 7 years old. I think I also followed the winner’s camp a little bit. I keep a very good memory of it”. He developed for us:
I remember Quai Perrière in Grenoble. This is the old district of Italy, it is the gathering place of Italians in important moments. When Italy were champions, it was completely invaded by the whole community, my father took me and I have great memories of it. I have no problem saying that I am happy that Italy became world champions in 2006.
A boy who studied hard at the training center
If he was a very fast kid, Ange Capuozzo channeled himself with ease. At the training center in Grenoble, which he joined relatively late, he even had the label of “calm” boy. “I’m not the type to hide behind the wall. I’ve never studied in my life like at that time. I’m very careful,” he admitted.
One who started as a professional in the year of Covid-19 admitted that at that time, he was “connected to personal development”. “I read a lot, I learned about how to feel better, to be better in my head, in my body. I experienced many things like getting up early (Miracle morning)”. Almost 20 years…
A nod to Pau…
His first professional match, Ange Capuozzo played it one day in May 2019. He remembers it without a blindfold. “In Pau in the Top 14”. A meeting where he played about twenty minutes in … n°9. “This is the position I hold at Espoirs”, he said, before explaining: “I am 3/4 in training. I played 9, 10, winger and back between my 13 years and Espoirs”.
Inevitably, playing this first game with Grenoble, with his training club and the city where he was born, is precious for Ange. “I couldn’t have asked for better,” he said. “I was very impressed, I had the opportunity to spend time with the elders. I have fond memories of discussions with Lucas Dupont who helped me throughout the week before and on D-Day. When you are young, and you have an icon of the club that cares for us, that inevitably resonates. It’s comforting, and it ticks me off. I hope that one day I will find myself in this situation to help young people”. And he told us another anecdote: “My first pro game was against Pau, my first regular game in Toulouse was in Pau. Great memories, apart from the games themselves. I miss them …”
He wants to face his best friend in the 2023 World Cup
Selected with the Italian team for the first time in March 2022, Ange Capuozzo shines and looks towards the 2023 World Cup. “This is the highest part of every player who participates at least once”, he described. His dream is to “do it”, although he does not consider himself “not at all like an Italian executive”.
2023 is still full of symbols for him: the competition is in France, Italy is in the Blues pool and France-Italy is planned for Lyon, near Grenoble, his hometown. “All these signals, it’s a dream”. And he confessed to us: “I pray with all my heart that my best friend, Killian Geraci, who I grew up with, who I went to elementary school with, too. If we can make it competitive and compete with each other, it can add magic to the event. This World Cup, it made me dream.
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