Casciaro is Gibraltar born and bred. And when we caught up with him via Skype last week, he told us that when he departs this world, he’ll likely be Gibraltar dead. The striker also spoke with us about balancing his career as a police officer with football, his historic goal, and the team’s attitude heading into today’s game against Brodge and Co.
MiB: A massive match at Celtic Park in this second leg. You’re no stranger to scoring in Glasgow. Last March, in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland, you scored Gibraltar’s first ever goal in a competitive fixture. What’s your mindset as you return to the Scottish city for this match?
LC: We’ve trained and watch some film from the last few matches, particularly last match. And we just have to concentrate and play the same way as last week’s game. Protecting the wing.
We don’t want to talk too much at the moment, but when the ball starts rolling, we’ll play our way.
MiB: Tell us about your day job and how you balance that with your football career.
LC: I work for the Ministry of Defense here in Gibraltar and I do police work on a small navy base, providing security for ships that come in from all over the world. To tell you the truth, it’s not hard to balance with football. I do 12-hour shifts. Two days and two nights and then four off, so in those days off, I’ve got plenty of time to train. When I’m working on a day we have training, a colleague of mine comes in a little early so I can go practice with the boys before heading back to work.
I’m not the only one on the team with another job. My two younger brothers, Ryan and Kyle, both have jobs. Ryan works with us at the naval base doing office work, and then you’ve got Kyle, who works for a shipping agent. We’ve also got a customs officer and some laborers, so it’s a mixed bunch.
MiB: We’ve got to talk about the goal. Forty eighth minute. Liam Walker plays you over the top. Walk us through what happened.
LC: I knew Liam is a very gifted left-footer and he knew that any ball that went over the top, I would latch onto it. He just lobbed it over the defenders. When I saw one of them come close on my left hand side, I chipped it over him and just let it bounce. The keeper came out and I just bounced it over him. It was just indescribable. You just go crazy with emotion. That moment for us is just a dream for everyone. My wife is expecting a daughter in six weeks, so it’s dedicated to her.
MiB: At any point in the match did you notice Brendan Rodgers’ demeanor?
LC: When you’re in the game, you try to blackout that type of thing. But you can imagine, losing to us in his first game in charge means he’d catch flak when he got back to Scotland.
MiB: Describe the post-win euphoria and how you celebrated after the match.
LC: Getting a 1-0 victory off a big club like Celtic is just unreal to live through. It’s something that nobody would have imagined. And having the opportunity to score that goal for the Red Imps is something that’s going to stick with me forever.
After the match, we went back to the club and had a few drinks and a bite to eat, but we really haven’t stopped fielding phone calls since the game ended. It’s just been crazy. But it’s good for us because it provides the exposure we need here in Gibraltar. It’s a country of 30,000 people and we’re playing against the almighty Celtic. You know, we’re hoping to go through to the next round, but we’ll see how things go. For now, we’re just enjoying the moment. If we can keep going, then marvelous. But if not, we’ve already made shockwaves in the football world.