World Cup 2014: Full Rundown of BBC Commentators, Presenters and Analysts

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2014

Former England soccer captain and now BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker arrives at the High Court in London, Wednesday, June 15, 2005.  Lineker is being sued for libel by Australian striker Harry Kewell over a newspaper article published in 2003 about the player's transfer from Leeds to Liverpool.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
MATT DUNHAM/Associated Press

There’s so much more to football than the match itself nowadays, isn’t there? Social media has developed into a crucial companion for watchers of the beautiful game, but often, an average game can be rendered considerably more watchable—or even unwatchable—by the television channel you're watching on.

Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, the BBC have assembled a host of stellar names to headline their coverage of the Brazil showpiece, as they look to provide viewers with a rounded, insightful package.

"Another Star" will be the BBC's opening song for the World Cup.
"Another Star" will be the BBC's opening song for the World Cup.Kevin Winter/Getty Images

And the big names are not just confined to the commentary box and the studio, with the BBC already announcing that they’ve been granted permission by Stevie Wonder to use his song “Another Star” as part of the opening sequence, per BBC Sport.

But it’s the analysis, the calling of the games and the chemistry between these personalities that ultimately makes the coverage excruciating or enthralling. So let’s run the rule over the cast assembled by the BBC ahead of the tournament and what you should expect from their World Cup package.

All information courtesy of BBC.



MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: First team coach Phil Neville of Manchester United carries footballs during a training session ahead of their Champions League Group A match against Shakhtar Donetsk at their Carrington Training Complex on October 01, 201
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

The BBC boast a commentary team bristling with experience as the familiar tones of Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Pearce, Simon Brotherton and Steve Bower are set to spearhead their team.

The legendary voice of John Motson will not be heard during games this summer, however, as he won't be at a major international tournament for the first time since the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Motson insisted he has no regrets about missing the tournament, aside from the obvious, anyway, per Mike Walters of The Mirror:

I stood down from live commentary after Euro 2008, and it was the right time to go. I have no regrets about that call. If I'm sad about anything, it's that I will never commentate on an England manager who wins the World Cup.

As for co-commentators, the BBC seem to have covered all the bases too, with a mixture of veterans and recently retired players set to offer their insight. Former England internationals Phil Neville, Danny Murphy and Martin Keown will lend their views during games, along with Mark Lawrenson, Kevin Kilbane and Robbie Savage. 



LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24:  Gary Lineker presents the Official Draw for the London 2012 Olympic Football Tournament at Wembley Stadium on April 24, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Former England international striker Gary Lineker will anchor the BBC’s coverage from their Rio de Janeiro studio. Lineker has long been the main presenter when it comes to these major tournaments and his likeable aura makes him the natural choice. He knows what questions to ask at the appropriate time, and he remains the biggest asset to the BBC’s football set-up.

Lineker has already been speaking to some legends prior to the BBC’s first game, which will see them cover Spain vs. Netherlands on Friday, 13 June:

Gabby Logan will be covering the England team, bringing viewers the latest from their base in Rio and then on the move as the Three Lions face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in their three group-stage games.

Logan will be focusing on the England team throughout the tournament.
Logan will be focusing on the England team throughout the tournament.Stu Forster/Getty Images

Aside from the coverage of the games itself, Dan Walker and Mark Chapman will head up a host of support shows, including ten episodes of Football Focus that’ll be available via the interactive option and hosted by Walker.



HARRISON, NJ - JULY 27:  Rio Ferdinand #5 of the Manchester United battles for the ball against Thierry Henry #14 of the MLS All-Stars during the first half of the MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena on July 27, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Ch
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand and World Cup winner Thierry Henry will offer their opinions on all the action as the BBC have gone all out to assemble a cast of high-profile pundits. Joining them in the studio will be guest pundits Clarence Seedorf and Neil Lennon.

The BBC confirmed the acquisition of Ferdinand and Henry last month, as noted here by the Mail Online:

The dynamic between the two former rivals will certainly be intriguing, and the insight provided will be surely be fascinating, especially from two players that have played the modern game very recently at the very highest level.

Former Arsenal man Henry actually did some punditry work for Sky Sports back in December, and his eloquent display left him in demand, as noted here by the Mail Online (h/t Messi Minutes):

Joining the aforementioned foursome will be familiar faces to BBC viewers. Former internationals Alan Shearer, Savage, Mills and Neville will take turns in the studio, while Alan Hansen will take part part in his final punditry role before he retires from the business.