FIFA 10: Ian Rush Interview

Social media post and on-brand editorial content

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 18.11.47Client
Game

Date
October 2009

Media
Web

Objective
Promote the launch of FIFA 10 and give Game Facebook followers a sneak peak at brand-exclusive content.

Background
To promote the release of FIFA 10, Game held a launch day event at its flagship Oxford Street store featuring football legend Ian Rush.

The work
I interviewed Ian Rush in store on the launch day and published highlights of the interview on the Game Facebook page. This was in-line with the brand’s social media strategy of giving followers advance notice and sneak peaks at offers and content. The final, full interview was published on the Game website, appearing on the FIFA 10 product page and the FIFA 10 micro site.

See for yourself
Browse below or view the post on Facebook.


Game’s Ian Rush Interview – Exclusive Facebook Taster!

6 October 2009 at 13:19

Football legend Ian Rush was at GAME’s Oxford Street Store last Friday for the launch of FIFA 10. We grabbed a few words with him about the beautiful game, both on the videogame screen and on the pitch. We thought we’d let our Facebook friends have an exclusive preview prior to the full interview being published on GAME.co.uk later this week . . .

Obviously you’re here to promote FIFA 10 – are you a big FIFA player?
My two boys are – they always beat me when I play. It’s always nice with football to be able to sit inside and play against your kids.

I wondered your opinion on a certain Liverpool footballer a few years ago blaming his bad performances on being addicted to FIFA?
You mean [David] James?

Haha could be! Do you see that as an excuse?
Nah I think you can get addicted to them and if you’re doing a professional job, staying up late at night on games, you’re going to be too tired to do it properly. You know it’s wrong what you’re doing, but I can see it’s easily done. Especially with football you have to concentrate for 90 minutes – not 89 minutes. If you’re tired and you haven’t had much sleep there’s a chance you’ll lose your concentration and that’ll result in a goal for the opposition.

Especially in goal, too…
Yeah, it’s one of them things – it’s harder to play in goal because you have to concentrate harder than outfield players. You can do nothing for an entire game then have something to do.

Obviously videogames weren’t around when you were playing – were there any other favourite excuses people had for bad performances?
There’s always excuses, but at the end of the day the good professional knows how to prepare himself for the game as best he can. You can’t just go out and play football; you have to prepare yourself, and that’s why the good pros always come out on top.

Talking of your day, there’s one argument that says players nowadays wouldn’t have been able to play decades ago because it was so tough. The other argument says that football is faster now, more dynamic – where do you stand on that?
I think footballers today wouldn’t play because they’d be getting kicked all over the place! But it’s changed I think most probably for the better. They say it’s quicker, and yeah it is – I think you have to be fitter. It also helps to be six feet; physically big and strong. Saying that, the pitch hasn’t changed, it’s still the same yardage, still 11v11 and one ball. What has changed is the boots and the footballs. They’ve become lighter and easier to control so the game’s gone faster, and the ball bends more.

So you think you could have played in this era?
Yeah. [shrugs] I think any good player could; The Stanley Matthews’s would have been able to because they’re special; they would adapt to what they had to do. All great players from any era would be able to play; Ronaldo would have been great in the seventies, for instance.

Do you think you might have formed a formidable partnership with a certain Mr Fernando Torres?
Yeah, well, it’s interesting; I was very lucky to have the best partnership with Kenny Dalglish. The manager likes to play Torres up on his own with someone playing just behind him. I’d have liked to be up alongside him to see if he can play with someone up front.

Who’d wear the number nine? 
Me! [smiles] Without doubt – no ifs and buts about it. I was there first! The only one who’d take it from me would be someone like Roger Hunt. [smiles]

Read the full interview later this week on the GAME website where Ian talks about diving, playing with Michel Platini and England’s chances at next year’s World Cup…


Game’s full Ian Rush Interview

Footy legend Ian Rush was at GAME’s Oxford Street Store last Friday for the launch of FIFA 10.
We grabbed a few words with him about the beautiful game, both on the screen and on the pitch…

Ian Rush at GAME Oxford Street storeHi Ian, really thrilled to have you here!
No problem!

Personally I have three big passions in life; videogames, music, and Liverpool Football Club. To be able to bring two of them together here is fantastic. Don’t suppose you want to make it all three and sing a few lines of You’ll Never Walk Alone?
Haha, don’t think so – I’d need a drink for that!

Hahaha, somehow I thought not! Obviously you’re here to promote FIFA 10 – are you a big FIFA player?
My two boys are – they always beat me when I play. It’s always nice with football to be able to sit inside and play against your kids.

What console do they have?
They have a Wii… they have them all I think. Definitely a PlayStation 3 as well. They’d got FIFA 09 and they said to make sure to get FIFA 10 for them.

“My two boys are [big FIFA fans] – they always beat me when I play. It’s always nice with football to be able to sit inside and play against your kids.”

They must be quite excited that you’re here then?
Yeah they are. They didn’t even know it was out so it was a bit of a surprise, but at least we’re up to date now.

There’s a mode in FIFA called Be A Pro where you get to pick a position and play there. I have a feeling they probably fight over the number nine?
Well, the oldest one is a striker and he plays number nine. The youngest one is more of a right back/right midfielder, so he’s not too fussed about it.

The oldest one following in your footsteps then?
Yeah he is, he plays in the League of Wales. He’s a big lad, a striker – he’s six foot four, so he’s more a Peter Crouch than myself, but he’s doing well and he’s happy doing it.

That’s interesting because I was going to ask you about the type of striker you were – we’ll get to that in a bit. First though, I wondered your opinion on a certain Liverpool footballer a few years ago blaming his bad performances on being addicted to FIFA?
You mean [David] James?
Ian Rush at GAME Oxford Street storeHaha could be! Do you see that as an excuse?
Nah I think you can get addicted to them and if you’re doing a professional job, staying up late at night on games, you’re going to be too tired to do it properly. You know it’s wrong what you’re doing, but I can see it’s easily done. Especially with football you have to concentrate for 90 minutes – not 89 minutes. If you’re tired and you haven’t had much sleep there’s a chance you’ll lose your concentration and that’ll result in a goal for the opposition.

Especially in goal, too…
Yeah, it’s one of them things – it’s harder to play in goal because you have to concentrate harder than outfield players. You can do nothing for an entire game then have something to do.

Obviously videogames weren’t really around when you were playing – were there any other favourite excuses people had for bad performances?
There’s always excuses, but at the end of the day the good professional knows how to prepare himself for the game as best he can. You can’t just go out and play football; you have to prepare yourself, and that’s why the good pros always come out on top.

Talking of your day, there’s one argument that says players nowadays wouldn’t have been able to play decades ago because it was so tough. The other argument says that football is faster now, more dynamic – where do you stand on that?
I think footballers today wouldn’t play because they’d be getting kicked all over the place! But it’s changed I think most probably for the better. They say it’s quicker, and yeah it is – I think you have to be fitter. It also helps to be six feet; physically big and strong. Saying that, the pitch hasn’t changed, it’s still the same yardage, still 11v11 and one ball. What has changed is the boots and the footballs. They’ve become lighter and easier to control so the game’s gone faster, and the ball bends more.

So you think you could have played in this era?
Yeah. [shrugs] I think any good player could; The Stanley Matthews’s would have been able to because they’re special; they would adapt to what they had to do. All great players from any era would be able to play; Ronaldo would have been great in the seventies, for instance.

Do you think you might have formed a formidable partnership with a certain Mr Fernando Torres?
Yeah, well, it’s interesting; I was very lucky to have the best partnership with Kenny Dalglish. The manager likes to play Torres up on his own with someone playing just behind him. I’d have liked to be up alongside him to see if he can play with someone up front.

“Oh no, everyone wants to win and it does become competitive but I don’t think it would go down well in our house!”

Who’d wear the number nine?
Me! [smiles] Without doubt – no ifs and buts about it. I was there first! The only one who’d take it from me would be someone like Roger Hunt. [smiles]

Do you know all the words to the Torres Bounce song?
Yeah and it’s a nice tune, and that’s what makes Liverpool supporters the best; the songs they make up. That one for Torres is absolutely fantastic. They’re so clever in what they do.

How highly do you rate him?
I rate him very highly; for someone to come in and have a fantastic season in their first year… he’s like a breath of fresh air to Liverpool supporters. Again this season, he’s started well; he’s the top scorer in the Premier League, and he’s young enough and good enough to get better. For me Torres and Gerrard stand out quite a lot.

Is he good enough to be called an all-time great yet?
I think he needs time; what you look at is time. If you’re only there for two years you can’t really say that, but if he’s there for four or five years I’m convinced he will get the amount of goals needed to become a legend. You have to wait a few years at once club, and when he does that and scored the goals that he is doing, then you could call him a legend.

Reckon he’d score more goals with a ‘tache?
Haha, you never know do you! I’m happy with what he’s doing at the moment so I wouldn’t change too much!

Getting to that question about the type of striker you were… obviously Torres is very well rounded; he can hold the ball up or turn, dribble, beat his man – the lot. Someone like Drogba is big, strong, physical – very different but also plays a high-energy game. You were much more of what I’d call a pure poacher – do you think that’s a dying art?
Yeah I think it is. The hardest thing there is that you had to have the right team mates around you and your job was purely to score goals, and that’s what I did. Robbie Fowler was a great player too, Gary Linekar, Dennis Law… they do seem to spread out now. A lot of goals seem to come from midfield. How many people score tap-ins now? How many people go round the goalie and put the ball in the back of the net? The game’s changed in the way that it’s not as easy to do that, and that’s why there aren’t as many out-and-out goal scorers now. There’s more midfielders and players like the Rooneys; great players, but not pure goal scorers.

Funny you should mention that; Frank Lampard scores a lot of goals from midfield, so does Gerrard – do you think they can play together?
Great players can play together. Saying they can’t is a load of rubbish. It’s just a matter of one of them adapting.

FIFA 10 launch at GAME Oxford Street storeIs it fair to say Lampard is a midfield version of the type of striker you were – he gets on the end of things, whereas Gerrard is more like Kenny, and makes the chances happen?
Yeah I think Gerrard can play in a few different positions. With Lampard you know what his job is; he does it absolutely fantastic for Chelsea; you’re virtually guaranteed 20 goals a season from him. Gerrard can do that, but he can also play on the right or holding midfield.

From a dying art to a diving art, so to speak – it’s obviously very en-vogue to talk about that at the moment with the Eduardo controversy. What’s your opinion on it?
Diving’s come from abroad; it’s a foreign thing that’s been brought into the English game. When I played abroad people did that. In England though it’s not acceptable. I think it’s difficult for referees to know when a player dived and when he didn’t. They’ve got a hard job anyway so it must be stamped out. For the sake of everyone we can’t have cheats. People love the game, and they just want to see a good game of football. Eduardo though I think was just unlucky. When you consider the injury he had before, he was a great player before it, so I think he just saw a potential bad challenge early and went to ground.

I take it you wouldn’t advocate a diving button in a FIFA game then?
Oh no, everyone wants to win and it does become competitive but I don’t think it would go down well in our house!

“Obviously I’m biased so Torres and Gerrard would definitely be in there. Ronaldo… David Villa… Messi – I think if you’ve got those five in there you’ve got every chance!”

You mentioned playing abroad – why did you decide to go to Juventus?
Just because I wanted a change; Juve were like the Liverpool of Italy at the time. Because Wales never qualified for a major international tournament I had to go abroad myself if I wanted to play against the best players in the world, and at the time they were playing in Italy. It didn’t work out, though it wasn’t as bad as people made out – I scored 14 goals, but we had seven new players and we just didn’t gel. That was the reason. They tried to keep Michel Platini on another year to play with me, which would have been great for me, but he decided to retire and I don’t think that helped – missing such a great player like him is bound to effect the club.

It would have been a really good fit going from partnering Kenny to Platini!
I actually played with both Kenny Dalglish and Michel Platini once in John Charles’ testimonial. I came back from Italy to play in that, we played Everton and I scored a hat trick – Kenny made one and Michel Platini made two! I only had half a game and I scored three, which goes to show how good those two were.

Do you think England have a good chance at the World Cup?
Yeh I do think they have a chance – the average age of the squad is 28/29, which is perfect to win the World Cup. If they have a bit of luck and the right players stay free from injuries, they have a great chance – although if they don’t win it this time, it could be 50 years before they win it again. Now is the right time.

Ian Rush at GAME Oxford Street storeTalking about picking a squad – there’s a Manager Mode in FIFA 10. Which star players would be in your team?
Obviously I’m biased so Torres and Gerrard would definitely be in there. Ronaldo… David Villa… obviously the best player in the world last year was Messi – I think if you’ve got those five in there you’ve got every chance!

Very attacking lineup – you’d basically be Real Madrid!
Haha, basically yeah – but they’d never get Gerrard or Torres!

“Well yeah, that’s it – although I’m not as good as me sons, so if they do beat me then I make sure I take them out into the garden and beat them at real football!”

Does it frustrate you not being able to get on the pitch?
It used to, doesn’t any more. I enjoy what I’m doing now and watching great football; especially when Torres and Gerrard are in full flow.

And I guess you can always play FIFA if you get the competitive urge…
Well yeah, that’s it – although I’m not as good as me sons, so if they do beat me then I make sure I take them out into the garden and beat them at real football!

Haha, legend. Thanks Ian.

Interview by: Mark ‘Hopeless Shot Stopper’ Scott
Interview Published: 09.10.09

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