The most media signing plays on the set | It’s LaLiga
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Gary Lineker was born with two gifts. The first, an exceptional talent to host balls in the net, led him to be the top scorer in the 1986 World Cup and to sign that same summer for FC Barcelona as an international figure. The second, a natural facility for scathing commentary, led him to become one of the most famous presenters on British television and to return to Spanish football again as a star, this time in communication. The Englishman has just been appointed LaLiga ambassador and is making his debut this season as a commentator and analyst on LaLigaTV, the channel that landed two years ago in the United Kingdom and Ireland with live matches and 24-hour programming dedicated to football. A full-fledged media signing.
Few careers like Lineker’s have been as successful on the grass as they are on the sets. From being the third-highest historical scorer for the England national team, the forward went on to become the longest-serving presenter of Match of The Day, the BBC sports program with the most consecutive years on the air in the world, which has been on since 1999. Although it assures that at the beginning it was not very good, the truth is that being at the peak of its career it already left flashes of a brilliant irony – inherited, he says, from a father who was laughing all day at himself, “like a good Brit” – who would make him triumph with a microphone in hand. The most famous was recorded for eternity in the old Delle Alpi stadium in Turin. “Soccer is a simple game: 22 men run after a ball for 90 minutes and, in the end, the Germans always win,” he said after losing a World Cup semi-final against Germany in 1990.
“I joined at a time of growth for television. I wanted to be different, to put humor into it. Saying that this or the other has played well or badly seemed boring to me, “he says on the phone. “In front of the cameras I am more relaxed, I have a better time. Also, if I make a mistake, nobody cares about it. It’s not like before, that a missed penalty had an impact on people’s lives. Of course, there is nothing compared to the feeling of scoring a goal in an important match.
Despite his price and hyperactivity – he has worked on television, radio and the written press, in addition to having a Twitter account with eight million followers where sometimes more headlines are generated than on green – his signing for LaLiga has been simple, he says. Roger Brosel, responsible for Content and Programming of the organization. “We had been in contact for a long time and everything was very easy. He had been wanting for a long time, because he is a great fan of Spanish football and because of his link with Barça, and for us it is a great leap to have someone of his media stature and football knowledge, ”says Brosel.
The protagonist says, perhaps with excessive modesty, that in Barcelona only the elderly remember him. People of a certain age who still recognize who the hero of the city was on the night of January 31, 1987, when he scored three goals against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. But there is no doubt about it, 32 years after leaving the Barça ranks, where he scored 52 goals, it is the mark that this “wonderful place” left on him. “I have many friends there and people have always been very generous to me,” says the ‘9’, who had enough three seasons to master Spanish fluently.
Lineker, the Silver and Bronze Ball, as the second and third best footballer in Europe in the eighties and nineties, has been sharing a screen with other top-level former footballers since September. Together with Albert Chapi Ferrer, Aitor Karanka, Gustavo Poyet or Gaizka Mendieta, names with professional experience in the United Kingdom and in Spain, participate in the broadcasts of LaLiga Santander matches and in analysis programs produced in English from the Mediapro studios in Barcelona.
Happy to recreate the camaraderie atmosphere of the changing rooms with such good company, the television star predicts strong emotions for the season that has just started. “The large number of young people is very encouraging. Pedri, Valverde, Frenkie de Jong… I think they make a perfect mix with other more veteran players. It is a competition where there is a lot of talent ”.
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