Instead of focusing on its talent, talking heads or itself, ESPN again has wisely chosen to focus on the beautiful game, and to let the sport of soccer do the talking.
The beautifully produced commercial is, according to ESPN, “a celebration of the world’s greatest sporting event returning to Brazil, a nation that has won the Cup a record five times. It intertwines memorable moments and legendary players from the tournament’s rich history with the Brazilian culture and its impact on the beautiful game. The spot features iconic players and teams and a collection of the World Cup’s most indelible moments.”
The moments captured in the commercial include:
— Pele and his triumphant celebration in 1970
— Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer and Dutch captain Johan Cruyff exchanging flags moments before the 1974 Final
— Diego Maradona and his brilliant performance for Argentina in 1986
— Zinedine Zidane, whose epic performance for France led the host country to win the Cup in 1998
— Andres Iniesta, whose beautiful strike sealed Spain’s first World Cup title in 2010
— Cameroonian striker Roger Milla’s famous dance in 1990
— Dutch legend Johan Cruyff’s immortal turn in 1974
— England striker Geoff Hurst’s record-setting three-goal performance in a World Cup title match in 1966
— Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp’s memorable touch against Argentina in 1998
— Carlos Alberto’s wonder-strike for Brazil in 1970
— Paolo Rossi hoisting the cup for Italy in 1982
— And Landon Donovan’s celebration after his last-gasp winner against Algeria earned the U.S. Men’s National Team a place in the single-elimination rounds in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
The spot culminates with the crop of current stars who will all seek to etch their names in the annals of World Cup history this summer: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Balotelli, Robin van Persie, and Brazil’s current number ten: Neymar.
ESPN will release a 60-second version of the World Cup commercial spot below during the network’s presentation of the 100th Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day.