ESPN conducted a 2010 FIFA World Cup commentator announcement conference call Thursday, April 29, with Jed Drake, the network’s executive producer for the event, and three-time former FIFA World Cup player and coach Jürgen Klinsmann. They discussed the announcement that Klinsmann will join ESPN’s FIFA World Cup roster. To hear a full replay of the call click here. Select comments from the conference call:
Klinsmann on joining the ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup team:
“Personally, I am excited to be part of ESPN World Cup team. It is a role that will be a little different from the coaching role four years ago in Germany. But it will be, for sure, exciting … I hope I can offer American viewers my thoughts on how to look at the game – how to look at global soccer, how to look at things that go on behind the scene, and bringing a little bit of my knowledge and my experiences. Also, knowing a little bit about U.S. soccer, living here more than 10 years now, I think I have a pretty good knowledge about what is going on in this country. I just hope that I can add a lot of good information for people in the U.S.”
Klinsmann on understanding the essence of FIFA World Cup action:
“The World Cup is a lot about the background of the countries, these countries and the teams representing those countries. How they (teams/players) represent their nations in terms of playing philosophy, in their style, in their emotions, in their learning how to deal with the pressure and expectations of their countries. You can really tell a lot about them. It really helps me that I lived in so many different places, in order to understand those teams better than, actually, they play in the World Cup.”
Drake on the challenges of preparing for the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
“We have assembled, by far, the largest operation for an event outside the U.S. by a significant margin. And we are doing so in a country that is over 8,000 miles from our home base. So, logistics are certainly one of the biggest aspects of this.
“Challenges, you can play semantics with that and call it an opportunity … For all the emphasis we are going to place on covering the event, analyzing the event, and detailing all the aspects of the World Cup itself, to have the opportunity to frame it with this remarkable culture of South Africa, and to do that properly, with authenticity, is a challenge or opportunity, depending on your perspective.”