Former England National Team player Steve McManaman has joined ESPN as a soccer analyst for its networks in the United States and United Kingdom. In the U.S., he will primarily serve as a studio and match analyst for the network’s coverage of Barclays Premier League matches, the U.S. Men’s National Team, marquee Major League Soccer events, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. On ESPN UK, the former Liverpool FC standout will contribute as a studio pundit.
McManaman, a studio analyst during ESPN’s critically-acclaimed coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, will be based in England. He will pair with co-commentator Ian Darke for live commentary from Premier League match sites for ESPN’s U.S. audience on the Saturday, 9:55 a.m. ET, matches, and will be in the studio for 7:30 a.m. matches same day. In addition, McManaman will make select appearances as a pundit on ESPN UK’s studio programming during the Premiership and FA Cup seasons.
“Steve McManaman was one of the finest players of his generation. As a broadcaster, he has a keen ability to communicate with great insight and clarity, and he is not shy about making his opinions known. He is a great addition to our team,” said Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer, ESPN Remote Productions.
McManaman said: “It is a pleasure to be joining such a great group of people who really love football. I totally enjoyed myself during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and I look forward to being a part of the ESPN team again.”
McManaman will make his Major League Soccer studio debut Thursday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m., on ESPN2 – the San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls match.
Steve McManaman’s biographical background:
McManaman is one of England’s most decorated footballers. He is ranked among the three greatest British footballers to play overseas.
In October 1990, McManaman became the first player without first team club experience to play for the England Under-21 team, two months before his debut for Liverpool FC. In 1993, he captained the England U-21 team.
McManaman signed as a professional with Liverpool FC in 1990. His work rate and on-the-pitch performances made him one of the most popular footballers of his generation at Anfield Stadium. In the 1995-96 Premiership season, McManaman led the league in assist with 25 and was ranked as one of the finest midfielders in English football. For two seasons (1996-’97 and 1997-’98), he became one of the most sought-after professionals in the Premier League as other European powerhouse clubs, led by Juventus and Barcelona, approached Liverpool for McManaman’s services.
After 364 appearances for Liverpool, McMananan transferred to Real Madrid in July 1999, becoming just the second English footballer to play for the Spanish team. At Madrid, McManaman had one of his finest professional matches in the 2000 UEFA Champions League Final at the Stade de France in Paris, where he scored on a spectacular volley in 3-0 victory over fellow Spanish side Valencia. After four years with Real Madrid, he returned to the Premier League and signed with Manchester City in 2003.
McManaman played for England in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and in the UEFA European Football Championships in 1996 and 2000. He was the first British player to win the UEFA Champions League title twice, and the first English footballer to win the Champions League with a non-English club.
Following his retirement from professional soccer in 2005, McManaman embarked on a new career in television as a commentator, providing analysis for ITV during the 2005 Champions League Final, for ESPN Star Sports in Singapore in 2006, and for Setanta Sports.