Meet the journalist who has covered 17 FIFA World Cups in a row

At the age of 23, Enrique Macaya Marquez was chosen to go to the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. As he recalls, travelling to Europe was not so easy in those days.

Enrique Macaya Marquez Ronaldo FIFA World Cup 2022
Argentine journalist Enrique Macaya Marquez, who has covered 17 FIFA World Cups in a row, a new record, received a mini replica of FIFA World Cup Trophy from Ronaldo at a ceremony in Doha on Tuesday (November 29) during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Photo: FIFA

Argentina’s Enrique Macaya Marquez was among the 82 journalists who were honoured by FIFA in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday (November 29) for covering eight or more FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Marques has covered every FIFA World Cup since 1958 and is now in his 17th tournament in Qatar. During the opening game in Qatar, he celebrated his 80th birthday.

Also read: Full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2022

On its website, FIFA said, it is recognising the role that the media plays in making football the most popular sport, and paid tribute to the longevity and commitment of the journalists who have covered eight or more FIFA World Cup tournaments.

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A special ceremony was held in conjunction with AIPS (International Sports Press Association) for the journalists who have reached that milestone, bringing dedication, knowledge and insight to both their profession and football, and relaying the emotions of the tournament to fans around the world.

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Schedule, groups, match times in IST, venues, live TV, streaming, and more

All the journalists received a small replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy from Ronaldo, the two-time World Cup winner from Brazil.

Marquez said he still remembers his first journey to the FIFA World Cup. The plane had to make so many refuelling stops that he cannot remember them all. Then came a train journey followed by a bus and ferry to finally reach his destination.

Also read: Why Germany was fined at FIFA World Cup 2022

“That was back in 1958, when he travelled from his native Argentina to Sweden. Remarkably, Enrique has been to every FIFA World Cup since then and is covering the tournament for the 17th time, setting a new record among journalists. He celebrated his 88th birthday on the opening day of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, a match that he commentated on for Argentina’s D Sports radio station,” a report on FIFA’s official website said.

“You need knowledge, and you have to know how to communicate what you know, you have to know how to deal with technology, you have to know the game and interpret it correctly,” he told FIFA.com, explaining his recipe for success. “It´s not easy and you have to learn all the time, talking to people and learning from them – that is how you get better.”

At the age of 23, he was chosen to go to the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. As he recalls, travelling to Europe was not so easy in those days. “It was a DC-7. It stopped everywhere to refuel – there were so many stops that I cannot remember them all. And then we had to find a hotel. It was a miracle it all worked out,” he said.

FIFA World Cup 2022 journalists honoured
The 82 journalists who were honoured by FIFA and AIPS pose for a picture in Doha during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Photo: FIFA

Broadcasting was a far cry from today’s technology. “We connected to a telephone exchange and, through that, our information was transmitted to Argentina. It was a miracle it worked.”

Now, he is not afraid of technology and is not of those commentators who spends hours scrolling through statistics to prepare for a match. Asked what he did to prepare for a game, he said: “Nothing at all.” For Enrique, it all comes naturally, the FIFA report said.

The full list of 82 journalists who were honoured for covering eight or more FIFA World Cups can be found here.

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