ISL 2018 | Voice that oversaw Andres Iniesta and Mario Goetze score World Cup goals, joins ISL

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ISL 2018 | Voice that oversaw Andres Iniesta and Mario Goetze score World Cup goals, joins ISL

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SportsCafe Desk

10/10/2018

English sports commentator John Helm, who is a reputed name in international football will join the commentary team for this year’s ISL. Helm has witnessed all the major events in modern football, right from Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ to Mario Goetze’s volley, which won Germany the World Cup.

The 2018-19 season of the Indian Super League is up and running with most of the teams in the tournament already completing two games each. And going by the tempo of the matches so far, it is looking like a belter of a season waiting up ahead with the quality certainly been upped a notch or two. 

To add to that, world-renowned English commentator - John Helm, who was part of the FIFA World Cup final’s commentary team back in 2008 and 2010, has been slated to join the ISL. 

“My most favourite moment came during a match in Mexico in the 1986 World Cup when Denmark beat Uruguay 6-1. Michael Laudrup scored an absolutely amazing goal after going past six people and all I said was “The boy’s a genius”. That was picked by a lot of people in Denmark because they remembered what I had said at the World Cup.

“It wasn’t the case that I was pleased by my own commentary but because I got it absolutely spot on. We are like players only and we can also commit mistakes and I have certainly committed a few. But when you get it right, the feeling could be equated to what Prithvi Shaw must have felt after scoring a century on debut,” Helm told Hindustan Times.

India, who have often been termed as underdogs in international football competitions in the last few decades have seen some revolutionary changes in ways the game has been played in the country. The Under-17 World Cup acted as an alarm clock and Helm claimed that he has the perfect solution for India to do well on the global stage.

“The Indian players will immensely benefit from playing football abroad, against and with some high-quality players. You need to find one Sunil Chhetri plying this trade in Germany on England or France or somewhere and he will really inspire the next generation. So for India to make more impact on the world scene, I do believe that few players need to go abroad. We have to find a superstar.

“Sunil Chhetri is the closest that India have right now but you have to keep developing the young ones. One problem that I remember when the big names in football came to India was that the young players were nervous with the prospect of playing with them. But that mentality is improving now and they don’t think of themselves as inferior anymore. So if they keep on progressing like that, it will be a massive boost for Indian football,” the 75-year-old said added.

While talking about the ISL, India’s premier footballing competition, the seasoned commentator said that Chennaiyin FCare the side to beat in this year’s competition.

“In my opinion, Chennaiyin are the team to beat because they have won the title twice and have the necessary experience. They have retained more number of the players from last season in comparison to many other teams in the league. They also have got a good manager in John Gregory.

“But it is impossible to predict at this early stage (who are title favourites) but there are lot of good sides — Goa are a good team and so are Bengaluru. People can’t believe ATK have lost few times so early in the season but I feel that they will come good as Steve Coppell is a very good manager. But I have always enjoyed watching Chennai from the time when they had Stiven Mendoza and Elano. I think they play the game right and believe in playing good football,” he concluded.

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