Grant Wahl Interview
Grant Wahl was nominated for Best Football Journalist award. We asked Grant 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?
I really appreciate it. There’s a lot of good soccer journalism out there, so it’s nice to be recognized.
2) What kind of year has 2010 been for Grant Wahl?
An exciting one. After being Sports Illustrated’s main college basketball writer for 10 years and covering soccer on the side, I went full-time soccer in January 2010 and have greatly enjoyed it. It’s the first time that SI has had a full-time soccer writer on staff in the magazine’s history. There’s a real opportunity to increase our coverage of the sport–on the domestic and international fronts–and I have found that soccer’s biggest names want to have higher profiles in America. While I enjoyed every second of covering this year’s World Cup, I’m excited about building the American audience for high-quality soccer coverage moving forward.
3) What do you think has been the key factor in your success?
The new commitment from Sports Illustrated to soccer has been a huge part of it. I found the process of reporting and writing my first book (“The Beckham Experiment”) to be rewarding, and it showed not just that I could cover soccer full-time but that soccer books can in fact sell in America. Twitter has been a big help too: It keeps me better-connected with the top soccer journalists worldwide and has exposed me to a bigger audience as well.
4) If you were casting a vote for your any of your fellow nominees, who would it be?
Too many remarkable soccer journalists (and good friends) on this list to single anyone out. I’m just glad to be included.
5) What’s next for Grant Wahl?
Plenty of fun stuff for Sports Illustrated. I’m starting a series called “Inside the Superclubs,” in which I take a close look at some of the world’s top soccer clubs: their history, culture, past and present stars, youth development, etc. And in 2011 I’ll be starting the work on my second book.
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 haven’t spent much time with the rankings, but they look interesting. I’ll probably get criticized for sounding American here, but I think increased use of the right statistics will help soccer, not hurt it. Best in the world right now? Lionel Messi, an absolute joy to watch.
You can vote for Grant Wahl in the following award category:
Back to the main 2010 Soccerlens Awards nominee interview page.