By Fred Kaweesi in Belo Horizonte
THE 2014 World Cup has attracted celebrated managers, retired international footballers but also famous commentators.
Did I mention reporters? We also have an 89-year-old Hiroshi Kagawa–the oldest of the press here in Brazil.
The tiny and wrinkled old man has covered 12 World Cups so far.
Within hours of arriving at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte for Brazil’s second round fixture against Chile last Saturday, I was privileged to meet Martin Tyler –England’s finest commentator of the decade.
Tyler is here –for his 10th World Cup –doing commentary for Australian television rights holders SBS.
SMS are a small team compared to the other major European broadcasters but were willing spend on one of the world’ best.
Tyler, who also works with BSkyB, ESPN, TSN, offered his insights on the World Cup and why David Obua is the only Ugandan footballer he knows.
What does it take to prepare for a big game at this World Cup?
It’s really down to statistics. I have commentated so many Premiership, Champions League and international games now that my preparations are not as intense as they were years back.
But that said, I really still do have to prepare. I need to look at previous meetings and learn more about either teams. I have had some bad games before and that has reminded me why I still have to prepare for every game.
What does it take to be a good commentator?
I would advise anyone hoping to become big in the business to take it simple. Watch a game and describe it. I know it sounds flat but you have to interpret what you see.
Plenty of goals in the 2014 World Cup where James Rodriguez currently leads the scoring charts ranks highest in the tournaments Tyler has witnessed. AFP Photo
You have to understand that you are communicating with the audience first. The rest (humor) comes after.
What’s the best game and tournament you have ever covered?
Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3 in 1996. It was end to end, Newcastle were looking at winning the league and didn’t at the end. It was really exciting.
Tournament, Brazil 2014. It has been amazing. We still have a way to go but its high up there for me. We have not just watched goals but quality goals and exciting football.
What’s your knowledge on African football?
I have really tried to follow African players and teams over the years. I have watched a couple of games involving African teams but unfortunately their participation has been marred by money rows.
That’s not fair to African football because there are amazing African players to be celebrated and African teams should be doing much better.
Any Ugandan that you know?
I had a friend of mine that brought David Obua to Scotland but I didn’t get a chance of seeing him play. Other than him, I have not been able to know the others really. I am sorry.
Who will win the tournament?
I can’t tell. It’s so unpredictable. We have had upsets already.
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I have only heard of Obua - Martin Tyler