ESPN’s 2014 World Cup stable of analysts continues to grow.
In great news for American soccer fans, a source has confirmed to Awful Announcing that Everton manager Roberto Martinez will once again be a part of ESPN’s World Cup coverage from Brazil. ESPN executive producer Jed Drake will acknowledge Martinez’s return to ESPN this summer in Brazil as one of its lead studio analysts during the network’s preview of its World Cup plans in New York later today.
Martinez has been a fixture on ESPN’s coverage of major international soccer events since the 2010 World Cup. He worked as a studio analyst in South Africa in 2010 and also made appearances from Kiev, Ukraine for Euro 2012 and was in Bristol to cover the 2013 Confederations Cup.
When Martinez first graced ESPN airwaves back in 2010, he was the manager of Premier League survivalists Wigan Athletic. At the time he was considered one of the top young managers in Europe and his stature has only grown since then. Last year he won the FA Cup at Wigan in one of the tournament’s great upsets. This year in his first campaign at Everton he has moved the club up the table to 5th, where they are challenging for a Champions League spot in the final days of the season. Having a manager of a top EPL club will only provide more of a boost for ESPN’s coverage this summer.
More importantly though, Martinez has been outstanding in his appearances on ESPN as a studio analyst. He’s very likable and breaks the game down in a contemporary and insightful way, everything you would want in an analyst. It’s great to see Martinez return to ESPN in Brazil and it should ensure that the network’s World Cup coverage continues at a high level in 2014.