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.