Placido Domingo on love for soccer ahead of World Cup performance

Opera star Placido Domingo poses during a Q & A session with the media on May 15, 2014, in Los Angeles.


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, Brazil, 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 upcoming 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."

With Spain eliminated from this year's games , Domingo said he is rooting for five-time world champion Brazil.

Domingo is well-known as one of the celebrated "Three Tenors," with fellow Spaniard Jose Carreras and the Italian Luciano Pavarotti, who died in 2007. The trio made their debut on the eve of the final of the 1990 Cup in Italy and subsequently performed at the 1994 tournament in the United States, in 1998 in France, and finally in 2002 in Japan. Domingo performed with other singers at the 2006 Cup in Germany.

Because work required him to be in London during most of the 2010 Cup in South Africa, "I was only able to attend two matches," he said. "Fortunately those were two matches that Spain won and became world champions."

Domingo said his concert in Rio will include a selection of arias as well as Spanish zarzuelas, American show tunes, local Brazilian music by the likes of famed Rio-born composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and several popular sambas.

He said he chose to perform on July 11 because it's a World Cup rest day.