The Best Cristiano Ronaldo, Idris Elba and a fly kick to the face.
I should have guessed October would be unimaginable when it started with me sending super agent Mino Raiola a text discussing private jets.
That was the first sign that there was nothing normal about October.
The last month has blown my mind in so many ways that I’m needing to write this blog simply as a therapeutic form of helping it all sink in.
Idris bloody Elba!
Before I had a chance to feel starstruck by his awesome talent a casual, kind and modest Idris walked over to introduce himself to me. He too was excited for the ‘Oscars of the football world’.
For one night only The London Palladium was to be filled with the best footballers the planet had ever seen. Football royalty were descending on London and they were all just as nervous and excited as us.
The Best Fifa Football Awards was broadcast to an audience of 900million globally and you might be surprised to know that even the biggest of names get nervous. When going live Footballers want to know what your plans are and like to have a little time to think of a good answer.
Below is me briefing Cristiano Ronaldo.
A man who, due to my association with adidas, I thought I’d never get the pleasure of interviewing. Thankfully FIFA stepped in and made all my dreams come true…in one night.
The players however exceeded my every expectation. No amount of planning or script writing could prepare us for how they would react. My sections of the show were what we had the least control over and that’s exactly why I love my job.
Neymar Jr started a round of laughter when I called him a liar for saying it only took him 20mins to get ready for the big night – Dani Alves then showed his competitive streak by claiming it took him precisely 14mins and 59seconds teasing Neymar Jr that he took too long. Real Madrid’s Marcelo, who was sat just behind the pair, couldn’t speak for laughing and Messi gave us the biggest grin we’ve ever seen on him.
The much anticipated World XI award brings on stage the greatest eleven players on the planet. A fantasy team like no other, a team of men who then took the wrong stage exit and forced me to fill for time whilst live on air!!
We prepared for hundreds of different outcomes but we sure as hell didn’t prepare for the world’s greatest eleven players going missing.
Being part of such a spectacular production was a massive achievement for me.
It’s exactly where I wanted to be.
As as a fan it was overwhelming. It’s meeting all your heroes in one go, all in one room. Watching them interact with each other. Zidane shaking Ronaldo’s hand, Maradona hugging Messi. Patrick Stewart asking for a selfie with players, Idris Elba chatting to Giroud and more unimaginable, unforgettable moments.
I need to be confident to deal with live broadcast and now I’m working on a new show which is live every week on BT Sport and it has nothing….nothing to do with football.
Alongside UFC’s Dan Hardy I now front Cage Warriors – Europe’s leading and longest running Mixed Martial Arts promotion. Cage Warriors is an incredibly high paced night of fighting. It’s also insanely addictive. From the dry ice filled dramatic walk outs to fly kick knock outs these guys know how to put on a big night. My first night saw a Russian win by KO.
I saw and heard him fly kick his opponent in the face.
I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a shock but not as much of a shock as then hearing his opponent, having regained consciousness, being interviewed and heaping praise on the winner. They are disciplined, highly skilled athletes and I’m constantly in awe of each and every fighter.
October saw me experience my own pain as I hosted Goal’s ‘Studs Up’ with Jonny Nelson and he attempted a move not too dissimilar to Cage Warriors. Thankfully I was in an inflatable ball.
Thank you October.