Tenor, soccer fan Domingo to perform at WCup

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm •  Published: July 3, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — For Placido Domingo, opera and soccer go hand in hand.

The Spanish tenor has performed during almost every World Cup since 1990 and plans a July 11 concert in Rio de Janeiro, just two days before the city hosts the final game.

At a news conference Thursday aimed at promoting his show, Domingo talked more about his other passion — soccer — than the concert at the HSBC arena.

Domingo said that as a young man he played goalkeeper until a broken finger forced him to take up an offensive position. "But I just wasn't that good," he said, holding up a crooked index finger he called a "souvenir of my soccer years."

Even after he put away his cleats, Domingo remained passionate about the game, following hometown favorite Real Madrid with such unabashed devotion that the team's regal decal embellishes the cover of his smartphone.

Domingo is also a devout fan of Spain's national team, despite its abrupt elimination in the international tournament's first round, ending a years-long winning streak that saw it become both European and 2010 World Cup champion. The singer said the Spanish team "arrived in Brazil tired ... You could see they didn't have the energy."

With Spain eliminated, Domingo said he is rooting for five-time world champion Brazil.

"I'm going for Brazil, of course," he said, eliciting hoots of approval from local journalists. "If (they don't win) I think it's going to be a terrible blow for the public, for Brazil."

But Domingo was guarded about Brazil's chances. He said individual team members are "missing the united whole that ... used to play with happiness, without fear and with self-assurance."

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