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Interview With Nick Simon, The English Voice of R@dio Barça.

In a season full of disappointments and heart breaks, there has been some bright spots for FC Barcelona and without a doubt, Nick Simons has been great fulfilling his duty by providing English commentary for R@dio Barça.

This season was difficult for Barcelona fans, especially those outside of Spain, who were affected by the row between TV firms Sogecable and production firm Mediapro over rights to show top Spanish league.* Many fans, including myself missed many of the first games of the season for Barcelona because of this row. Thankfully, many of us did not miss a second of those games free because of Nick Simons and his commentary of R@dio Barça.

Back in August 2007, FC Barcelona launched R@dio Barça to provide its fans live match commentaries via the Club’s website. This service kicked off with coverage of Joan Gamper's match against Inter Milan. Match commentaries were broadcast live on www.fcbarcelona.cat for all first team friendlies, Spanish League, Copa Del Rey and Champions League game. In order to gain as wide an audience as possible, broadcasts were in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English.

The official site mentioned that live game commentaries were to be presented by former Barça star Oscar Garcia in Catalan and former coach Toño de la Cruz in Spanish. However, the site neglected to mention who would be providing the English play by play of FC Barcelona games. The crew here at Barcelona 24-7 decided we would have the honor of introducing the English voice of R@dio Barça to the Barcelona fans who tune in for the games.

Not much is mentioned about Nick Simons on the official site and we hope that changes soon. Besides R@dio Barça, Nick Simons can be also heard commentating on games shown on Barça TV games as well, which for those in the US like myself, is being currently shown on Fox Soccer Channel (FSC). Thus, I decided it would be great if we would be able to interview Mr. Simons so that all the fans can get to know more about him. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to get a quick interview, via e-mails, with Nick Simons.

IBES: How long have you been a Barcelona Fan?

NICK: I was lucky to move to Barcelona to live in 1991 when the Dream Team was kicking in. I still think maybe seeing Laudrup and Romario live was one of the best combinations ever.

IBES: Who is your favorite Barcelona player of all time?

NICK: Various. Laudrup, Luis Enrique and funnily enough maybe an number one, Pep Guardiola.

IBES: Favorite Great Barcelona goal? Romario's vs. Atletico, Rivaldo’s bicycle?

NICK: Nah, easy. Laudrup’s flick to Romario.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=plKhZhZCQHg (youtube link provided by Nick himself)

IBES: How did you win this job of the English announcer?

NICK: I had worked on the Premier League, in Spanish, on Via Digital. They remember my work there. I don't mind working solo or with a colleague.

IBES: Doesn't it get boring in the booth without a partner?

NICK: Sometimes.

IBES: I did realize that one of my questions seemed moot after listening to El Clásico. You had another person in the booth. What was his name?

NICK: Last 4 games, except El Clásico, were Archibald (Editor Note - That's former Scottish player Steve Archibald who played for Barcelona in the mid 80‘s). For El Clasico, it was a journalist called Ernest Amat.

IBES: Is it tough to work the game when the Spanish and Catalan announcers are near you commentating away in their languages?

NICK: Wearing the headphones you are cut off from the other commentators.

IBES: Any plans for perhaps a halftime show along with a pre-game and post game analysis?

NICK: I think everything is step by step. Lets see!

IBES: Which are the worst and best away stadium press rooms?

NICK: No comment.

IBES: Is it tough to control your feelings during good and bad moments for the club?

NICK: Sometimes.

IBES: Is it difficult doing these games late at night? (Barcelona had many 10 PM kickoffs this past season)

NICK: Miss dinner sometimes, but that apart doing a 2200hrs kick off means you have the day to do other stuff.

IBES: Ever had any accidents in the booth due to excitement, disappointment or food drinks spills?

NICK: I tend to stand up as I have almost fallen off my seat in the past:-)

IBES: Are you going to be back next season?

NICK: Hope so.

IBES: Finally, funniest thing you ever witnessed while announcing the game and tried hard not to be distracted?

NICK: I don't know about the funniest, but there are Roy Orbison moments.

IBES: Care to explain the Roy Orbison moments comment a bit?

NICK: PRETTY WOMAN......

NICK: Sorry for not going into more detail, but workload, etc.

IBES: Thanks for the replies and I fully understand.

Thanks again for everything you have done and keep up the good work.

Here is hoping that FC Barcelona does bring back Nick Simons back for next season and have a profile on him on the official site soon too.

Nick and Ernest did commentate on the summer friendly games so here's hoping for another great season of Nick at R@dio Barça.

If you want to thank Nick for the great job that he has done or send him e-mails during the game, he can be reached at the e-mail that he gives out during the games at nick@salbcn.com

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