In 1986 two major things happened in my life, thanks to the World Cup played in Mexico. Soccer caught my attention once again, and I became interested in the career of Sportscaster. In that World Cup I not just admired Maradona, Platini, Lineker and Zico, but I also started to admire the transmissions of Gerardo Peña from Televisa, the critical style of José Ramón Fernandez in Imevisión, and the journalistic content of a great show like Los Protagonistas, also in Imevisión.
My love for sports grew exponentially. I did my own play-by-play games and sports segments with highlights locked in my bedroom. My family thought I was crazy! But at the end, that practice helped me when I did my first real segment on air at the age of 17 in ABC Radio.
I did it as part of the team of Francisco Javier Gonzalez, an important play-by- play soccer journalist in Imevisión. He was my mentor. He taught me how to improvise, how to write, how to put together arguments, how to prepare myself for every segment with the proper study methods. I am very thankful to him. I have another great teacher from a distance. Dan Patrick is by far the best interviewer in the business.
When I was growing up (14-16 years old) I became a furious listener of several radio sports talk shows. I was always the one that called every single day, so when the day arrived, many sportscasters knew my name and my ideas. I went to talk with Enrique Garay and Francisco Javier, two respected journalists of TV Azteca (formerly Imevisión)
They steered me in the right direction for my career, and gave me my first couple of jobs “ON AIR” in radio at just 17 years old. Obviously I worked for free in the beginning, but it was the kickoff “in the game” that I love the most in my career as sportscaster.
The first interview that I did was Raul Allegre in 1991 when he was part of the New York Giants. A two time Super Bowl winner, very respected here in Mexico and a great human being that nowadays I have the honor to be a colleague with at ESPN. I remember that Raúl had been a little bit uncomfortable in the press conference, because he was asked a lot about his relationship with Bill Parcells, which is, and has been excellent all the time.
Afterwards I interviewed him one-by-one and I felt the adrenaline running through my body, when I was about to start. Raúl was great at the interview knowing that I was a little nervous. I have also had the honor and privilege to interview the world’s greatest Soccer player, Pele.
My first World Cup as a journalist and play-by-play commentator was at France 1998, at the age of 25 with TV Azteca. My first match was Holland-Belgium in Paris with Cesar Luis Menotti and Leo Beenhakker as co- analysts. Better yet, I also shared broadcasts with Jorge Valdano and Emilio Butragueño in that World Cup.
In the four World Cups covered, I have seen the incomparable skillful class of Zinedine Zidane in France 1998…and also that crazy moment with Materazzi in Berlin in 2006, the killer- instinct of Ronaldo (champion in 2002), and the magic touch of Guus Hiddink with Holland and Korea, amongst others.