Fun fact: Christian Fuchs, signed to anchor Charlotte FC in its debut season next year, is capable of kicking a 60-yard field goal — and he's done it before.
That's one of the surprising headlines from The Call Up interview that hosts Susannah Collins and Jillian Sakovits did with the former Premier League champion.
Fuchs, in the interview that came out on Tuesday's podcast, attributes his MLS journey to Steve Walsh, the former Leicester City scout who brought Fuchs to the Foxes. As Fuchs portrays it, Walsh "basically made me a Premier League champion," recruiting him on the team that shocked the world with its 2015-16 title win against long odds.
Walsh, now working with Charlotte FC, thought Fuchs would be a perfect fit for the fledgling team. "He said, listen, there's this new club coming to the MLS, an expansion team, and you've really got to check it out."
Fuchs considers how the timing worked out to be fortuitous, as he got to learn and grow under Brendan Rogers for one last season at Leicester in 2021 before coming over to the States.
The Austrian international is already playing for a Charlotte team, on loan to USL Championship side Charlotte Independence, while Charlotte FC ramps up for its debut MLS season in 2022. But The Call Up hosts found out that Fuchs is entertaining aspirations to add another team to the mix — the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, where his ability to kick a round ball could translate to kicking a pointy ball.
Collins, connecting the dots, which includes David Tepper owning both the Panthers and Charlotte FC and the teams sharing a stadium, asked Fuchs about it. Fuchs revealed that through an NFL connection, he got to practice kicking a football in London the year Leicester City won the title, as the league was preparing to host one of its London games.
"That went down pretty well I would say. Without having any kicking coaching training whatsoever, because it's a different technique, you have to lean forward with an NFL ball, we have to be backward, so that was kind of awkward to me."
In addition to alluding to a range in the "mid-40s," he revealed that he kicked "one out of three from 60 yards."
When the hosts showed amazement at that, he simply said, "I've been kicking balls my whole life."
He also revealed that during Leicester City's historic run, he was part of a January 2016 collaboration with the NFL, playing up both teams' shared underdog status, in which players received Panthers jerseys; Fuchs noted that you can go online and see a picture of him sporting a No. 1 Panthers jersey with his name on the back.
"It was the story that we have the two underdogs that were really crushing the league. Ours turned out to be very successful. The Panthers didn't make it in the Super Bowl," ultimately losing to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 after a 15-1 season and an NFC Championship, "but nevertheless it was very interesting."