Top 7 Soccer Commentators on TV


While there are dozens of solid soccer commentators on English language television around the world, I have compiled a list of the seven best announcers in the business. To see if your favorite voice made the cut, let’s check the list:

7. Daniel Mann           

Mann just began commentating Barclays Premier League matches for Sky Sports in 2010.  His straightforward, no-nonsense style and distinguishable voice make Mann one of the better commentators in the sport.  Mann worked some 2014 World Cup matches for ESPN and can be heard here in the States on NBCSN.

6. Derek Rae

Rae’s commanding Scottish voice is perhaps a bit underrated.  The Scot has been working matches for ESPN since the 90’s and for BT Sport since 2013.  Rae recently worked as a commentator for ESPN during the 2014 World Cup, and can be heard on BT Sport during Scottish Professional Football League, the Europa League, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 matches.  Rae was also a part of a classic ESPN commercial four years ago.

5. Arlo White

White, NBCSN’s go-to commentator, is getting better and better by the season.  The Leicester, England native has quickly gone from the voice of the Seattle Sounders in 2010, to one of the top soccer commentators in the Premier League.  White’s call of Obafemi Martins’ goal for Seattle earlier in the year is a glimpse of how great his voice is (Ted Lasso would surely agree).

4. Clive Tyldesley           

Tyldesley has won the Royal Television Society Sports Commentator of the Year award four times since taking over as ITV’s main soccer commentator in 1998.  The Daily Telegraph recently said of Tyldesley, “he has his critics, and he sounded understandably confused while watching a man called ‘Pitbull’ and a bizarrely furious-looking Jennifer Lopez perform at the opening ceremony (of the 2014 World Cup), but his match analysis has been as digestible as ever.”

3. Jon Champion

I personally love Champion’s educated and eloquent style of commentating.  The calm Champion has worked for BBC, ITV, and ESPN for over 20 years.  Champion’s commentary of the classic 4-4 draw between Arsenal and Liverpool in 2009 was epic.  The 49-year-old Champion deserves to be regarded as one of the top soccer commentators in the business.

2. Ian Darke

While Darke has been working Premier League matches since the 90’s, he has been a fan favorite here in America ever since he starting doing matches with ESPN in 2010.  Darke possesses an outstanding sports voice, and perhaps his best known call was Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup (not to mention his hilarious commentary of a blind date for an ESPN commercial).  Premier League fans can now hear Darke on BT Sport in England and the occasional broadcast on ESPN.

1. Martin Tyler           

One of the most recognizable voices in the box, Tyler is in the upper echelon when it comes to soccer commentators.  Tyler has a number of memorable calls through the years and FIFA video game fans surely have his voice branded into their brains.  The 68-year-old Chester native was voted as the Premier League Commentator of the Decade by fans in 2003.

17 thoughts on “Top 7 Soccer Commentators on TV”

  1. Arlo is NOT a top ten commentator, there are plenty of TWI commentators that are much better.

    Glad you put Daniel Mann up there.. For me he is the successor to Martin Tyler.


  2. Agree with all but White although i dont mind him. Love Tyldesley, Darke and Mann. Tyler is great although i frankly find him a tad boring at times. Rae is great. Champion, i agree he is one of the best but sometimes his voice irritates me.

    So overall a very good list. And i agree with Cantona. Mann is The Next One.

  3. While we rarely get to hear him on this side of the Atlantic, I think Allan Parry should be on this list. His career stretches back to the 1970’s where he worked with the late great Peter Jones on BBC Radio.

    And speaking of Peter Jones, if a list of top radio commentators were ever put together, his name should be at the VERY top of that list.

    1. Agree on A.Parry – he’s still gettin’ it done. Doesn’t do too many world feed matches these days unfortunately

  4. Steve Bower is miles better than Arlo… He should have made the list before him. Ian Crocker is in my top ten. I also agree Daniel Mann is fantastic.

    1. Totally agree. Reading the article and responses I had forgotten about Bower…WHAT?? I have been touting Steve here since last year and love his call. I put him right up there with Tyler, Darke and Mann.

  5. If you want a commentator who pisses on everything modern-day football, Garry Birtles is the man. He’s the only commentator who makes you feel angry for watching the modern day footballers who ‘just aren’t good enough, don’t have quality and don’t work hard.’

  6. Derek Rae is, for me, the voice of the Champions League. Back when ESPN had the rights it was Rae and Tommy Smith. It was wonderful to hear the voice in my memories of Derek Rae during the World Cup this summer. There is no way, that he is behind Arlo White. Arlo isn’t the worst by any means(aha Gus Johnson aha), but not up there with Derek Rae.

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