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Two of the most recognizable figures in the sport of soccer are not even players themselves. In fact there are more people in America who recognize these names Cantor and Longo than know the name of the current president of FIFA
Norberto Longo and Andres Cantor became
popular with America's soccer fans when they appeared in 1994 giving us a goal-by-goal account of the action in Americas' first World Cup. But it was Andres Cantor's unique yell of Gooooaaal which made an impression on my memory. I've heard some people say that they don't care who's playing as long as it's Andres calling the goal. Both can usually be seen on the Sunday features program Domingo Deportivo. Andres actually joined Univision in 1987. He has covered five World Cup if you include the France98, the others being Spain '82, Mexico '86, Italy '90 and U.S.A. '94.
Prior to joining Univision Sports, Cantor was a correspondent for "Radio Mitre" of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he covered the '84 Olympics. Previously, he worked for "Editorial Attentida" a publisher of six magazines. It was here that he began his career in 1979 as a writer, covering international soccer events
Nowadays, you'll find Andres not only on the television screen but also down
in locker rooms and on "La Cancha" (the field) conducting interviews with
the stars. He has a manner which seems to place the players at ease.
It is as if they are enjoying every moment of the interview themselves.
Andres states that before the 1994 World Cup began he spent countless
hours familiarizing himself the name and style of play of each of the players.
One can only imagine the awkwardness which would be caused if he tried
to struggle for the name of the player each time the ball is kicked. He also
says that by knowing each player, he is able to anticipate plays to some
extent which is also very helpful when announcing a match. Many people have
stated that although they do not speak spanish, they prefer to listen and
watch Andres and Norberto due to their exciting style.
Above Andres marvels at a piece of preserved turf extracted from the playing surface of World Cup 1994. At upper right, he shares a moment with Columbia's Carlos Valderama. As you are reading this article Andres who is at France98 is probably screaming Gooaalll!!.
Our question for Andres:
Q: What was your opinion of America's World Cup grass surfaces in comparison
to others that you have seen world-wide as a result of your job?
A: Well, I would have to say that America's playing surfaces were excellent, some of the best that I have ever seen. The Giants Stadium and Silverdome surfaces were a beautiful thing to behold. Both seemed to hold up very well throughout the games although both were installed over astroturf surfaces.
Longo co-hosts Univision's Sunday sports program Domingo Deportivo along
with Andres. In addition to his work on Domingo Deportivo, he also
serves as co-host and main announcer for Boxeo Estelar, the Network's series
of top-rank boxing championship specials; moreover, he works as co-host for
Titulares Deportivos , a Sunday sports preview show.
Throughout his career, Longo has been acknowledged for his extensive experience, objectivity and professionalism. He has covered eight consecutive World Cup actually nine if you include the ongoing World Cup 1998 in France working for a a variety of stations in Latin America and the United States. In addition, he has announced more than 40 world title boxing fights. He is also a recognized tennis expert, covering tournaments throughout the international circuit, such as Roland Garros, Wimbleton, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.
A brief selection of Longo's other achievements include Copa Libertadores coverage; '72 and '76 Olympic Games, commentary for Latin America and one-on-one interviews with Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez. Besides working on television, Mr. Longo is involved with local radio stations . From 1988 to 1990, he was the sports director for WSUA-1260 AM, a local Spanish-language radio station in Miami. Then, in 1990, he moved to WQBA 1140 AM (Also a Miami station) where he hosted a weekly sports review.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Norberto Longo received his B.A. in Journalism and Psychology in 1964 from the University of Buenos Aires. For the next few weeks you will see Mr. Longo sitting alongside Andres Cantor giving us a goal-by-goal account of the world's greatest sporting event World Cup 1998.
Our question for Norberto:
Q: Why has there not been more interest in the media in covering the development
of playing surfaces for the world's most popular sport.
A: There has been some coverage however I believe that the work that goes into preparing playing surfaces is generally low. The reasons may be several, one because the playing surfaces being grass are taken for granted. Secondly, scheduling of matches and player allocation have been the primary concerns of the media particularly with the newly developed league such as the MLS. I trust that there will be more written about the playing surfaces in the future.
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