INTERVIEW – The journalist will bring to life the meeting between Liverpool and Real Madrid with Bixente Lizarazu.
Last year, TF1 had not broadcast the Champions League final, broadcast by RMC Story. Since then, La Une has bought the rights to this unmissable event – which must be broadcast unencrypted – for three years. Gregoire Margotton so returns to the comments with his sidekick Bixente Lizarazu in order to bring the match between Real Madrid and Liverpool to life, for his greatest joy. Especially since the journalist has never hidden his love for the Reds. He gives us his feelings on this expected match of all football fans.
TV MAGAZINE. – TF1 broadcasts the final after a year’s absence. What does this return represent?
Grégoire MARGOTTON. – The important thing is that we left for three years. It may not be enough to create an appointment but it serves at least to remind people that TF1 was, for thirty years, the unencrypted channel of the Champions League. Real / Liverpool is perhaps the most glamorous poster in the history of football or, in any case, at the moment, so we are very lucky to restart in the Champions League with this match.
And for you, what does it mean to commentate on a Champions League final?
It will be thirty years, on June 1, that I started my career. I had the chance to do a lot of things, from sideline interviews on a Ligue 2 match to a Champions League final. I must say that finding myself in a stadium of 90,000 people commenting on a European championship final by talking about the technical gestures of Karim Benzema or Sadio Mané, fundamentally excites me.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of each team?
The final is never a match like the others and it is rarely a very good match. If the two teams could have the same DNA tonight as they had in previous meetings, it could be a great final. Liverpool should logically dominate the start of the match. If the Reds manage to score, we could have a grand final because Real never give up and have the talent to come back. An imbalance must be created quickly for it to become a very big match.
The two clubs have already faced each other twice in the final, is there a particular rivalry between them?
No, because Real Madrid has no rivals and a Liverpool fan tells you that! It is, by far, the greatest institution in the history of football. The club wins all the time. On the Liverpool side, it’s less regular, there were great moments of emptiness. What does not change is the image, the public and the values that Liverpool sends back. The match promises to be exciting for several reasons. First of all, it’s not two clubs from the same country and then we find Karim Benzema, Eduardo Camavinga and Ferland Mendy who bring a little French touch and, above all, there is a clash of history and style which enchants me.
You do not hide your attachment to the Liverpool club. Is it hard to hold back on comments when your core team is doing a great deed?
I have no doubt about my ability to put aside what I feel. I’ve commented on matches with clubs I liked more than others – including the Liverpool v AC Milan final in 2005 when Liverpool won on penalties after trailing 3-0 at halftime. time – and at no time was that reflected in my comments. I have no problem with that, especially since I have enormous respect for Real Madrid. On the other hand, if Liverpool, at the end of a nice scenario, were to win, it will not be heard but, deep down inside me, I will be very happy. Commenting on a meeting with a team you like obviously adds a little spice.
During the Coupe de France final, consultant Éric Roy put his opinions forward a bit in his comments, what did you think?
It’s very difficult for me to judge because I haven’t heard everything about this final. Sometimes it’s not easy when you’re not used to it. Eric Roy is probably not a consultant who has been commentating 40 games a year for thirty years, so it can be difficult at times to get over his emotion. Me, I work with a former Bayern player who, if he is necessarily happy when his favorite team wins, does not show it. He is used to it and is able to be cold if necessary. It is the nature of everyone. I do not condemn any comments by Éric Roy because that is how it is and it is not very important… It is also perhaps up to the journalist at his side to realize if there is something is wrong. I think that even today, the job of a journalist and a consultant is above all not to give the impression, in their comments, that they have a price point.