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Gabriele Marcotti Interview

Gabriele Marcotti was nominated for the Best Football Journalist award. We asked Gabriele to talk about the awards, how 2010 had turned out for him, future plans and of course, who he would vote for in the awards. Here’s the interview:

1) You’ve been nominated for Best Football Journalist, chosen by both fans and industry experts, how does it feel?

Whenever you get recognized, it’s an honor. In this case, given the global reach of the award and the fact that it’s driven by the passion of fans, it’s especially noteworthy.

2) What kind of year has 2010 been for Gabriele Marcotti?

As a fan, it was marked, above all, by the World Cup in South Africa, a historic event and I was delighted that a team playing positive football like Spain won. The Champions’ League was also quite an experience, Mourinho succeeded were so many Inter managers before him failed and that ought to be recognized.

For me, professionally, I’m enjoying the work I do for The Times, both in my columns and blog, but also the Game podcast, now in its fifth season and the web-chats which bring you one on one with readers. I also started working for the Wall Street Journal, which is a whole new experience, dealing with a different audience.

I love doing ESPN Press Pass, where you can provide instant analysis on the issues of the day and also being a part of ITV’s highlights show here in England. And, of course, the publications I’ve worked with for many years like La Stampa, Corriere dello Sport, the Sunday Heraland and Sports Illustrated, all of whom have been kind enough to give me space and support. Radio-wise, I hosted BBC’s 606 last season which was quite an experience, now they use me more as an odd guest. I’ve also discovered Twitter, which is a fantastic resource and a way to dialogue with people.

3) What do you think has been the key factor in your success?

Above all, I’ve been lucky to be in the right place at the right time and to have met people who believed in what I was trying to do. Without somebody opening a door for you, it’s very difficult to get anywhere in this industry and there are so many very talented colleagues who simply never got a shot.

I’m also lucky that I have so many people helping me, both as sources and as experts, whose knowledge I can draw on. Plus, of course, I have a very supportive family, which is crucial. Most of all though, I entered the industry in a time of globalizaiton and, given my background, I was able to take advantage professionally. Had I been born ten years earlier or later, it might have been a different story.

4) If you were casting a vote for your any of your fellow nominees, who would it be?

You’re putting me in a very difficult position here. Raphael Honigstein and Grant Wahl are two of my best friends, I’ve known them for years and went to their weddings. Dr. Sid Lowe is a brilliant writer who is perceptive and creative. In terms of raw brainpower, Jonathan Wilson is in a class of his own.

I’ve only recently gotten to know the work of Andy Brassell, Ives Galarcep and Iain Macintosh and have been impressed. Daniel Taylor is a hardcore, old-school reporter. I’m sitting on the fence here, I know and I try not to do that. But I genuinely find it difficult to compare these guys.

5) What’s next for Gabriele Marcotti?

Lots of watching football, reading about football and talking to people in football! I find my enthusiasm doesn’t wane, it just gets ramped up. I hope I can continue to work as I have been doing, there are a few projects I’d like to see come to fruition (like Jonathan Wilson’s Blizzard) but most of all, I hope I never forget how privileged I am to be in this line of work.

6) Have you seen the Castrol Football Rankings? What do you think about them, and who do you think is the best footballer in the world at the moment?

I think trying to put footballers in a statistical framework as the Castrol Index does is very difficult, but that does not mean it’s not worth doing. Only through more research and trial-and-error can we hope to understand the game from a more objective standpoint. Castrol’s Index is working towards that and I think it’s valuable tool, as long as it continues to grow and evolve. As for the best right now, I’ll go with Messi, by a shade over Ronaldo. (Distincly unimaginative, I know…)

You can vote for Gabriele Marcotti in the following award category:

Best Football Journalist

Back to the main 2010 Soccerlens Awards nominee interviews page.

Topics: Interviews


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