World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

World Cup memories

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH – So after 31 days, 64 games, 147 goals (2002 = 161), 28 red cards, 305 yellows and four penalty shoot-outs, another World Cup is over.

It’s been a long tournament for the Match of the Day team – most of us have been out here in Germany for at least five weeks. But what a fantastic experience! Being paid to work at World Cup is as good as it gets for a football fan.

Now it’s time to get in reflective mood, so I want to know what will you remember most about this World Cup?

To help jog your memories, here are the Match of the Day experts’ favourite moments of the tournament. Over at the Guardian they've also been listing their best/worst moments of the tournament.

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About the BBC's World Cup graphics

paul_atherton.gifMUNICH - Not long left in the International Broadcast Centre now - is there anything else you would like to know about the BBC production here?

In the meantime, we've received plenty of emails asking about Match of the Day's on-screen graphics so I asked one of our graphics operators Alex Rice to explain more..

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Why I want Germany to win the World Cup

paul_atherton.gifMUNICH - Ok, I know it’s hard to drum up much enthusiasm for the rest of the World Cup now England have packed their bags and gone home.

But there’s still a week to go and four teams left in it. We’ve got to wait four years until the next World Cup, so we may as well enjoy every minute while it lasts. So come on, who will you be cheering on in this week’s semi-finals?

For me, there’s only one choice.

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Inside an England O.B.

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH - Match of the Day’s studio base during the World Cup is in Berlin. But for a few of the big games Gary Lineker and the team broadcast live from the stadium. Here Suzanne Whiston explains one of the key roles at an outside broadcast (OB)

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England montage reprise

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH - Last week producer Sarah Williams asked for your suggestions for music to accompany an England montage. Here she explains what she chose and why.

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King Carlos

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH - One of the best things about being at the World Cup (and there are many, many reasons why it’s great to be here) is celebrity spotting. I know, I should probably be above it. But I’m not. Yesterday at the USA v Ghana match I met (‘saw’ is perhaps more truthful) a true footballing legend. The only man in the world who can pull off a blonde afro – Carlos Valderrama.

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Suggest an England track - follow-up

paul_atherton.gifWow, what a response! Thanks to everyone who suggested a piece of music to accompany an England montage.

There were some brilliant suggestions and people clearly put a lot of thought into it. It looks like you lot are as passionate about your music as you are about football!

Make sure you look out for our coverage of England v Ecuador on BBC ONE on Sunday to see what music was used.

I’ll follow this up again next week with one of the producers who will explain what music he/she chose, and why.
And if you have any other music suggestions for any upcoming games (Togo v France anyone?), then please do let us know!

Oh, and here's a little football chants quiz you might want to try.

Any suggestions for England music?

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH – Every week we receive hundreds of emails about music used on BBC Sport coverage. Here assistant producer Sarah Williams explains the process behind picking a piece of music.

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A Mosey round the media centre

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH – The BBC’s director of sport Roger Mosey popped into the International Broadcast Centre on Sunday night to see Match of the Day’s Munich operation in full flow. I took the opportunity to get his predictions for our office World Cup sweep.

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World Cup look-alikes

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH – There’s a football pundit on German TV who looks uncannily like Jackie Stewart.

I discovered today he is former West Germany international Gunter Netzer. He seems to be their number one pundit (in fact, possibly their only pundit) – Germany’s answer to Alan Hansen I reckon.

Has anyone else got any good World Cup look-alikes?

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Living the dream

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH – It’s not just the likes of me who can’t believe their luck at working on the World Cup – even the presenters keep pinching themselves! Here are Adrian Chiles’ thoughts on working on Match of the Day in Berlin:

If there's one thing worse than anyone being smug, it's a television presenter being smug. But sorry folks, here goes: I am in paradise. Paradise.

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Come on feel the noise

IBC, MUNICH – The fun thing about watching games at the International Broadcast Centre is hearing cheers echo around the building when a goal’s been scored.

Even though the IBC is broadcasting to millions of people around the world, any football fan knows it’s virtually impossible to contain yourself when your team scores.

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In case you were wondering what we do...

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH - To give readers an idea of how World Cup Match of the Day gets made, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be asking different members of our team at the IBC to explain their roles. Today it’s the turn of Phil Sibson, one of two VT (video tape) directors.

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Steh auf wenn du Deutscher bist!

paul_atherton.gifI was lucky enough to be at the Germany v Costa Rica match yesterday. What an experience! My first ever World Cup game and the highest-scoring opening match in World Cup history – not a bad one to be at, eh?

I was sat just to the left of the half-way line, towards the back of the bottom tier. It was a perfect spot for Philip Lahm’s opening goal – I was on the side of the pitch that he cut inside from, so I had a great view of the arc of the ball as he curled it into the far corner. I won’t go into too much detail about the opening ceremony or game, as you can already find that elsewhere on the website. But, for what it’s worth, although Germany scored four goals, I thought they looked quite sluggish, and their defence looked vulnerable to say the least. Costa Rica only had two shots and scored both.

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Counting down to kick-off

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH - Are there any readers from Peru out there? (!) I only ask because I made my debut on Peruvian radio station Grupo RPP last night, and was wondering how I came across.

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BBC 1, Technical gremlins 0

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH – On Sunday, the German FA organised a practice match to allow all the broadcasters to test out their systems before the opening game on Friday. The match was played at the Allianz Arena in Munich, the venue for the opening match, between two German under-12 sides (no, the 1 and 2 aren’t the wrong way round!) posing as Germany and Costa Rica.

A film of the game was repeated today so everyone could have another run through. So we had Ray Stubbs in the studio presenting the action, joined on the couch by pundits Paul Armstrong (Match of the Day editor and fellow blogger), executive producer Phil Bigwood and producer Sunil Patel. Jonathan Pearce provided his usual vibrant commentary.

And the game was pretty good! It was only 15 minutes each way but the standard was frighteningly high. Mini-Germany won 1-0 if you’re interested, mini-Klose scoring the only goal.

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Shivering in a sauna

MUNICH - I arrived in Munich yesterday afternoon, and made my first trip into the International Broadcast Centre today. Match of the Day's World Cup studio is in Berlin, but most of the production team are based here in Munich. So all the VT (video tape) packages (ie features, interviews, match highlights) will be made here at the IBC.

The IBC is the media hub for broadcasters from all over the world. The scale of the operation is unbelievable. Every country imaginable seems to have some kind of presence here, including several I had never even heard of - Niue? Nevis? Kiribati? I make it 190 different countries, and 90 broadcasters.

The IBC itself is huge - it used to be Munich airport. There are restaurants, a gym, even a beer garden! Each media company has its own area, separated off from each other by wood panelling, so it feels a bit like a sauna (except for the temperature - the air conditioning has gone into overdrive, so everyone's wandering around in big jumpers and coats). The BBC's office is next to Brazilian channel TV Globo, so I'm sure there'll be plenty of friendly banter going on as the tournament progresses! Fifa present Sepp Blatter made a visit to the IBC today, but he didn't make it to the BBC office.

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About Paul Atherton

paul_atherton.gifI work for Match of the Day, Football Focus and Score, running the programme websites and liaising between the television and online teams.

I joined the BBC Sport website five years ago after completing a post-graduate degree in online journalism, initially on the multimedia team (which is responsible for the audio and video on the site), then on the news desk. I've been working with the TV football team for about three years.

I'll be based at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Munich during the World Cup, working alongside the TV production team. I'll attempt to explain exactly what goes on there during my posts (in other words, I'm not quite sure myself!).

Outside of work, you may be surprised to hear football is my number one interest. Manchester United are my team (although I'm from Bolton - there goes my credibility). And my sporting claim to fame is being offered and turning down a trial with PSV when I was 12, but no one seems to believe me.

My ambitions? To finish the season as Man Utd's top goalscorer. That's it.

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