Armchair critics play beautiful game
CRAIG Moore is hoping that SBS' coverage of the World Cup in Russia can inspire the next generation of Australian football stars.
Moore, who was part of the only Australian team to reach the knockout stages of the finals in Germany in 2006, will be alongside commentator David Basheer when the Socceroos go up against France (June 16), Denmark (June 21) and Peru (June 27) - all live on SBS.
The former defender is looking forward to working alongside Basheer again as he spreads the word about the beautiful game to Australia.
"I have done a couple of grand finals (with Basheer), so it's certainly not new to me," he says.
"With SBS the official broadcaster of the World Cup, it seemed like a perfect fit and a great opportunity.
"The commentary I really enjoy because you are talking about the game as you see it. I am obviously not leading, so I am coming in with little bits of detail.
"I think it's important you have the right combination. I have worked with David Basheer before. He's excellent and we seem to bounce off each other really well, so it should work well."
Moore, who scored a penalty as the Socceroos drew 2-2 with Croatia in Stuttgart to progress to the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup, said he was looking forward to the 2018 competition in Russia.
He also says it was important that everyone had the chance to watch the Socceroos and the world's best players on free-to-air television.
"Not everyone has the ability to be able to purchase and watch pay TV," Moore, who will fly to Russia today, says.
"It's great because it does get our product out there. We have the opportunity to hit so many more numbers and to engage with so many more young kids and families. That's a fantastic part of this World Cup, it's live it's free and it's HD.
"SBS will put on a fantastic event. Obviously it will be dictated by the teams and players and how well they entertain us all but it's fantastic that everyone has the opportunity to watch it.
"The time difference could be challenge but the dedicated ones will be up and certainly won't want to miss a trick watching games in the early hours."
For the record, Moore says although the Socceroos group is a tough one, with France, Denmark and Peru all ranked in the top 15 countries in the world, Australia is capable of qualifying for the knockout stages for only the second time.
"To me it's a really difficult group," he says.
"But you never know what can happen at a World Cup. We play well and take our chances then anything is possible."
SBS will present the match of the day, every day of the World Cup live and in HD with highlights and analysis of all 64 matches on TV and online.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins on SBS on Thursday at 10.30pm when host country Russia take on Saudi Arabia.