Soccer News: ESPN Deportes Debuts New Documentary-Style Soccer Series
Capitales del Fútbol explores the world's most extraordinary soccer capitals
ESPN Deportes has announced that Capitales del Fútbol, the first documentary series to profile the world's most popular soccer cities, will debut in October with five episodes before the end of the year, featuring Barcelona (Spain), Bogota (Colombia), Manchester (England), Mexico City (Mexico) and São Paulo (Brazil). The series will be telecasted every other Tuesday, beginning with the Barcelona edition on Tuesday, October 9,at 7:30 p.m. Four additional episodes, featuring Buenos Aires (Argentina), Madrid (Spain), Milan (Italy), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) will air in 2013.
Capitales del Futbol is co-produced by ESPN Deportes and Academy Award®-winning production company 100 Bares, led by acclaimed Argentinian director, Juan Jose Campanella. The series successfully captures the world's passion for the sport, and provides a cultural perspective of the world of soccer. The series also features notable appearances by stars of both the sports and entertainment industry such as Dutch soccer great Johan Cruyyff, Spanish footballer Xavi Hernandez, Argentine player Sergio Aguero, Portuguese player Nani for Manchester United, Club America's President Ricardo Peleaz, Manchester City Football Development Executive Patrick Viera, Mexican actor Jose Maria Yazpik, Mexican rock band Molotov, British musician Noel Gallagher and many more.
"With Capitales del Futbol, we hope to offer our U.S. Hispanic audience a different perspective from what they receive from our news and analysis programming,” said Esteban Apraez, Senior Director of ESPN International Marketing Solutions. "The Series is a truly global undertaking that takes fans to the most beautiful and enchanting destinations in the world. What makes Capitales truly special is its ability to put into context how alongside our wonderful differences, we are all united by our common passion for football.”
Capitales del Fútbol initially aired on ESPN across Latin America, becoming the network's highest rated original series ever in the region with more than ten million viewers tuning in to date.
Capitales del Fútbol schedule:
October 9, 7:30 p.m. – Barcelona
With its unique blend of architecture, its long and beautiful beaches, and year-round weather favorable to outdoor sports, the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, is the symbolic center of a region that has always been, at least in spirit, a nation within a nation in Spain. The Capitales del Fútbol: Barcelona episode brings this to life with a collection of the most important figures in the city's history, present and future, offering an array of perspectives on the game's legacy.
Johan Cruyff, the Dutch legend who played for FC Barcelona, managed the club, and is now director of the Catalan national team, talks about the passion for soccer in the city, as do modern players like Xavi Hernandez and the team's former president, Joan Laporta. The club's tradition has been maintained in large part thanks to La Masia, the club's storied youth academy which trained Messi and so many others, and which continues to serve as a model of player development integral to success at the highest levels of the game. Meanwhile, members of the city's other big club, Espanyol, including coach Mauricio Pochettino and Spanish football player Joan Verdu, also are featured.
October 23, 7:30 p.m. – Mexico City
As one of the largest and most populous cities in the world, Mexico City is, in a word, gigantic. Among some of the historic landmarks in the city are the Zocalo, the Plaza of the Constitution, and, not far to the northwest, another signature structure that defines Mexico City's identity: Estadio Azteca. As host of the 1968 Summer Olympics, as well as two World Cup finals, in 1970 and 1986, the stadium represents the grandeur of Mexico City, but is very much a symbol of the capital's passion for soccer as well. Estadio Azteca is home of the Club America, one of the three top-level clubs based in the city and perhaps the country's most polarizing team. There's also Pumas, the team affiliated with the National University, the country's largest university, playing in the Olympic Stadium near the center of academics in the city. Finally, Cruz Azul, or Blue Cross, plays in the Estadio Azul in the financial district.
The episode offers insider views from the city's most influential soccer personalities including the former Mexican star now serving as the president of America, Ricardo Peleaz and the director of Pumas, Memo Vazquez. Also appearing in the episode are Cruz Azul star Christian "Chaco” Gimenez, Mexican actor Jose Maria Yazpik and popular band Molotov. Through soccer, they find a passion that defines so much of life in Mexico City.
November 6, 7:30 p.m. – Manchester
The world's first industrialized city, Manchester, birthed two of the most vibrant soccer clubs in the world – Manchester United and Manchester City – each founded in the late 1800s. Originally connected to a pair of large companies in the city in the railroad and iron industries, today, the two rival clubs are – for the first time in their long history – both at the height of their powers with Man City having captured their first Premier League title in 44 years in 2012, a year after Man U captured their record 19th championship. Together, more than ever, they are at the center of the soccer-mad culture in a city that continues to grow in so many ways, so many decades after it spearheaded the industrial revolution.
With active players including Sergio Aguero, Nani and Pablo Zabaleta, as well as Manchester City Football Development Executive Patrick Vieira, Capitales del Fútbol: Manchester is the story of a city forever in transition, and two storied soccer clubs that share the hearts of the citizenry while invigorating the collective spirit.
November 20, 7:30 p.m. – São Paulo
Streets bustling with traffic, constantly growing commerce and a deep and fascinating heritage are only some of the aspects that define Sao Paolo. Above all, its dramatic, storied and lively soccer landscape is filled with as much passion as any other capital of the sport in the world with its four professional clubs: SC Corinthians, SE Palmeiras, Sao Paulo FC, and Santos FC. In addition, the advent of the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 is prompting various reforms and initiatives in all aspects of city life, but most visibly in the construction of a new stadium, being called "Itaquerao,” which will serve as a principal venue for competition.
From interviews with modern-day greats playing in the city such as Rogerio Ceni, Hernan Barcos, Marcelo Canete, to conversations with legends like Freddy Rincon as well as politicians and journalists, Capitales del Fútbol: Sao Paulo reveals soccer's firm hold on the city's culture, atmosphere, and imagination. In a nation with a love for the game that knows no bounds, a journey through its largest city offers a dramatic and unforgettable vision of soccer passion.
December 4, 7:30 p.m. – Bogota
Throughout the streets, towns, and villages of Bogota, youth fantasize of becoming a futbolista, and joining the tradition of some of their nation's greatest heroes. The city's most important club, Millonarios, whose greatest years came in the 1950s, plays in Estadio El Campin, a stadium that's hosted classic games between Millonarios and their local arch-rivals Independiente Santa Fe. The stadium also serves as the home venue of the Colombian National Team, 2001 winners of the Copa America. In this episode some of the city's most popular players illuminate soccer's importance here, including Santa Fe's Gerardo Bedoya and Omar Perez, as do various local critics and commentators. Soccer, in Bogota as much as anywhere else in the world, epitomizes the dreams of the young, and hope for the future.