Mumbai: Viacom18 Sports, India’s newest premier sports network, announced a galaxy of superstars including Wayne Rooney and Luis Figo on their expert panel for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 starting on Sunday.
The extraordinary panel also will consist of Robert Pires, Sol Campbell, and Gilberto Silva across Sports18–1 and JioCinema.
This is for the first time that Indian viewers will revel in the expertise of legends who have created extraordinary memories in the hearts of football fans with the ball at their feet.
Rooney, one of the most prolific strikers to have ever played the game and England’s all-time top goal-scorer, will be joined by Portuguese legend Figo, who led his country to the semifinals in 2006, their best finish at a FIFA World Cup since 1966.
Campbell, Pires and Silva will add further star power to the Viacom18 Sports expert’s panel.
Campbell is the only player to have represented England in six consecutive major tournaments, playing in 1996, 2000 and 2004 Euros; and 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, while Pires was an integral part of France’s 1998 World Cup-winning team and Silva was Brazil’s defensive rock in the 2002 World Cup winning campaign.
“Delighted to be in India and joining Viacom18 Sports for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It is my first opportunity to visit the country and get a chance to speak to many of the Indian football fans who supported me during my playing career,” Rooney said.
“I am also excited to be a part of the country’s World Cup experience and excitement,” he said. “I have been fortunate to experience the love for football in India previously and can only imagine how excited the fans will be during the world cup,” Figo said.
“With Viacom18 Sports, not only am I coming back to India, but I will also give the fans a taste of the world’s greatest show,” he said.
“From my experience of playing in India, I can safely say that fans know and love football to bits,” Pires said. “I am excited to return to India with Viacom18 Sports and present the world cup with my beloved former teammates.”
“India’s passion for football is contagious and heartening at the same time,” Campbell said. “I can’t wait to join the Viacom18 Sports panel for the world cup in what will also be a mini-reunion with my ‘Invincible’ teammates.”
“I have read and heard a lot about Indian football and the fan stories, and it is exciting to travel to a country that loves the world’s most beautiful sport,” Silva said. “I can’t wait to share my knowledge and insights with fans through Viacom18 Sports for the world cup.”
“Viacom18 Sports has assembled football royalty to give viewers a FIFA World Cup experience like never before,” Viacom18 Sports Head of Content Siddharth Sharma said.
“The expert’s panel lineup is a cherry on top of the offerings fans will have across all our platforms, including JioCinema, which is now available to download across Jio, Vi, Airtel and BSNL subscribers.”
The panel will be part of VISA Match Centre Live, which will give fans the ultimate experience of the world cup, including in-depth analysis, pitch-side coverage and locker room access from the convenience of their homes.
The VISA Match Centre Live will be a fully immersive studio show customized in all five languages on JioCinema, with renowned legends joining for the English coverage.
The world cup kicks off on November 20 at 9.30 pm with hosts Qatar facing Ecuador in the opening game.
Viewers can continue to watch their preferred sports by downloading JioCinema (iOS & Android). For the latest updates, news, scores, and videos, fans can follow Sports18 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
JioCinema, which is now available across Jio, Vi, Airtel and BSNL subscribers, will live-stream all the matches and offer curated content around the world cup in five languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, and Bengali.