The Big Interview with Graham Hunter

The Big Interview with Graham Hunter

United Kingdom

The biggest names in football, one-on-one with Graham Hunter. More at [](


Matt Le Tissier: Local Hero  

Matt Le Tissier was the ultimate Local Hero (great film, btw). He signed for Southampton at 16 and stayed for his whole career. His exquisite talents would have allowed him to grace a higher stage, but trophies and money were never his motivation. In part one, Matt talks about his End Blyton-esque childhood on Guernsey, his passion for cricket, the art of penalty-taking and scoring the last-ever goal at the Dell. Guys like Matt are a reminder of why we all love football so much. And I hope you enjoy this conversation with a legend of the British game as much as I did. Graham This episode was made possible by Nordoff Robins. We met Matt before Nordoff Robins’ annual football fundraising dinner in London. It’ s a charity we’ d like you to think about. Nordoff Robins offer music therapy to help children with a wide range of acute difficulties. As always, this podcast is free, but if you think this chat is worth £1 or more, please go to and hit ‘ donate’

Ramon Calderon: Making the Deal (Part Two)  

As president of Real Madrid – and as an influencer while out of that office – Ramon Calderon was inside some historic deals: Cristiano Ronaldo to Madrid being chief amongst them. In this, the second part of my interview with him, you’ll hear the story of that transfer, and also a whole bunch of other decisions, made by him and by Florentino Perez, the man he succeeded and who would return to power at the Bernabeu, with Ramon Calderon as a frequent critic. You’re going to hear very nice things said about David Beckham. You’re going to hear about Predrag Mijatovic and the need to delegate. You’re going to hear about how two goals in the last 20 minutes of a football match can restore one’s faith in a higher power. I hope you like it.

Ramon Calderon: The DNA of Real Madrid (part one)  

In his pristine legal office in downtown Madrid, Ramon Calderon comes off as a perfectly-mannered, spritely and talkative elder Real Madrid fan. Reason enough to mine the stories you are about to hear. But his status as not only a lifelong supporter, but also a board member and former president of that great club make him the perfect guide into the legend of Madrid. This is a guy that saw Alfredo Di Stefano play and later got to know him as a man. And for this, part one of the interview, we’re going to focus more or less on his time as a supporter in the 1960s and 70s. There is a glimpse of what’s to come in the way he breaks down the model Madrid use to turn superstar players into vast reservoirs of cash, but even that is rooted in the incredible vision of Santiago Bernabeu, the man behind Madrid. Enjoy!

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: The Trouble with Holland  

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was born in Surinam, learned football in Holland and spent most of his career in England, with a short stay in Spain at Atleti. Few are better placed to discuss the differences in football cultures... and Jimmy doesn't hold back. He has a strong take on the issues within English football, but it is his home nation of Holland that he singles out for the most criticism. Why do the Dutch keep coming up short? Jimmy also talks Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Gudjohnsen and Valeron. Enjoy Graham

Phil Neville: Spanish Lessons  

The first time I chatted to Phil Neville was in the Hilton gym in Manchester, which overlooks the Cervantes Institute. Gesturing to the building below, Phil mentioned on that occasion that he would love to learn Spanish. Years later. the opportunity to coach at Valencia gave him the chance to fulfil that ambition. Phil breaks down how he learned the language and soaked in the football culture of the nation. He is fascinating on the differences between coaching in Spain and Britain and the legacy left by his brother. Gary, at the club. Enjoy! Graham

Phil Neville: Out of the Comfort Zone (part one)  

Phil Neville always wanted to be a cricketer and his talent matched his ambition. He was one of the best schoolboy cricketers of his generation, having served an apprenticeship in the Lancashire leagues where he faced bouncers from world-class West Indian bowlers. Then he walked out at Wembley to represent England youths at football in front of 80,000 fans. His decision was made. Cricket’s loss has been football’s gain. We spend time talking about both sports, exploring how his experiences in cricket helped form his football mentality, and even shaped his outlook in life. In an era where the professional game is awash with money, Neville’s insistence on installing work ethic and morals in young footballers has never been more relevant. Sit back and enjoy Phil Neville in full flow! Graham

Thomas Hitzlsperger: Playing Against Prejudice  

In part two of my interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger, the former Germany midfielder talks about his decision to take on some big issues outside football. This began in 2007, at the peak of his playing career, when he blogged about racism in football for a German site - the first story he wrote about concerned the racist abuse aimed at a Celtic player during a trial game Thomas played for the Scottish club before he joined Aston Villa. He also talks in length about his decision to come out as the most high-profile gay footballer. It's fascinating to hear him talk about how such a personal decision eventually influences a debate within wider football culture and impacts on individual lives in a way I don't believe he was expecting. Thanks for listening, und danke, Hammer.

Thomas Hitzlsperger: From Bayern to Brum  

He helped me with a German perspective on the final of Euro 2008 when I was writing my book on Spain's trophy treble, but you're about to find out how much I didn't know about Thomas Hitzlsperger. In part one, today, how The Hammer was forged, and the incredible story of how he left FC Hollywood era Bayern Munich to join Aston Villa. No permission slips were signed. Enjoy this. Part two on Saturday.

Coming soon: Thomas Hitzlsperger  

On Thursday you'll be able to listen to part one of The Big Interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger. As a brief preview, here's part of the incredible story of how he left Bavaria for Brum. Part two will follow up on Saturday.

Gianluca Vialli: Turin to Chelsea  

I first met Luca Vialli in 1995 when my sports editor at the Scottish Daily Mail sent me to find out the secrets of how Juventus destroyed Rangers in the European Cup that season. The Turin side won 4-0 at Ibrox and important lessons were there to be learned. We talk about that first meeting between us in this, part two, of the podcast. I found a man who, like the club he represented, burned with intensity. He reflects on the culture of fitness and desire which drove Juventus to Champions League success in 1996, and what it means to represent the club. Ironically, Luca had the chance to join Rangers when he left Juve in 1996, but instead ended up at Chelsea. He talks passionately about his time with the London club, both as a player and manager – and how former teammate Conte is the man to restore the club’s reputation on the world stage. Listen out for anecdotes on Ranieri, Di Canio, Lippi and Ferguson. Enjoy! Graham

Gianluca Vialli: Sampdoria's Scudetto  

Gianluca Vialli was my favourite player of the 90s. Power, pace, skill and an abundance of charisma, I watched his career with growing interest before I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing him in his pomp at Juventus. That first encounter and his memorable spell at the Stadio Delle Alpi will be covered in part two. For now, Luca goes into depth about his unforgettable spell with Sampdoria at the start of his career – where he won Serie A for the only time in the club’s history, picked up the European Cup Winners’ Cup against Anderlecht and lost to Cruyff’s Barcelona ‘Dream Team’ in the 1992 European Cup final. We touch on the impact of Gazzetta Football Italia, how he and Lorenzo Amoruso are lighting up TV sets in Italy with their reality football show and the amazing work he is doing through his charitable foundation. Sit back and enjoy! Graham

Paul Clement: Diary of a Champions League Final  

This is the second part of my interview with Paul Clement and – if you have got here quickly – it’s part of your preparation for the Champions League final. It’s rare that we get somebody breaking down what matchday is like at that extraordinary level of sport, but that’s what you have here. The tactical presentation that gave Paul palpatations; the reason they can’t leave the hotel as a team; the Ronaldo effect in the tunnel before the game; the staggered nature of the celebrations – and why, at Madrid, they never last too long.

Cristiano the Counsellor  

The moments before the Champions League final of 2014: Real Madrid v Atlético. Paul Clement is standing in the tunnel, right behind Cristiano Ronaldo, feeling a little nervous. When this happens... This is a preview of the second part of my interview with Paul Clement, in which he gives us a brilliant breakdown of the entire day of that 2014 final. Listen to the whole thing - and every other episode of The Big Interview with Graham Hunter - for free, wherever you get your podcasts.

Paul Clement: Inside Real Madrid (Part One)  

Season 2013/14 was a special one for Real Madrid. It was the season of La Decima, their 10th European crown. Paul Clement, assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, saw it all. And this is his account. From a fastidious breakdown of a typical day on the training ground with Ancelotti, Zidane and Hierro (not a bad crew to hang around with) through the positional alterations and squad characters that lifted the team at crucial times. Paul’s going to take us up until the end of the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich. Part two, which we’ll put out on Champions League final day, is all about that thriller: La Decima.

Alan Pardew on his last FA Cup final  

In December 2015 I sat down with Alan Pardew and we talked a lot about Wembley and the FA Cup. My favourite story from the interview was this: Cardiff, 2006. FA Cup final. Clock ticking down. West Ham 3 Liverpool 2. The inside story of what happened next.

Michael O'Neill: The Player Whisperer  

Shortly after our interview, Michael O’Neill would be near the front of the field for the next manager of Celtic. It won’t be the last time he’s quoted for headline jobs. We met in Edinburgh and he broke down in fascinating detail the way he shaped and guided a Northern Ireland squad to this phenomenal achievement of qualification for Euro 2016. He carefully separates the message and the delivery and explains why both need to be perfect to get the best results. If you can enlist world champion boxers or stadium rock stars to aid your cause, so much the better.

Eddie Howe: The best you can be  

What Eddie Howe has achieved at Bournemouth is remarkable and after spending an hour with him at that club, it’s impossible to imagine that this is the high-water mark in his young career. Here’s a different kind of football mind: highly analytical, but also reflective, aware of the influence of his work on his life, and the other way around. He started his managerial career operating under a transfer embargo, determined to improve the players he had to work with. It’s become his signature – if you listen to this and try to put yourself in his dressing room, I think it’s easy to imagine how it works.

Chris Waddle predicts Riyad Mahrez's big season (summer 2015)  

Last summer I interviewed Chris Waddle. He talked about Cantona, Gascoigne, Francescoli and this Mahrez fella he was convinced was about to have a big season. Just listen to this. Chapeau, Magic Chris!

Joe Jordan: Foreign Fields (Part Two)  

It was Joe Jordan's goal - a diving header against Czechoslovakia in 1973 - which helped Scotland qualify for their first World Cup finals in 16 years. That he went on to score in three World Cup finals - West Germany 74, Argentina in 1978 and Spain four years later - is yet another indicator of his elite talent. It seems hard to believe these days that Scotland had a team of such pedigree in the 70s that they travelled to World Cup finals with expectations rather than just hope. In part two of this interview, Joe reflects on Scotland's World Cup campaign in 74, when they went unbeaten but missed out on goal difference and returned home on the first plane. He talks passionately about his immersion in Italian football, first with AC Milan - where he became a cult hero and caught the start of Franco Baresi's career - and then with a spell in Verona. There's insight into his relationship with Harry Redknapp, who he assisted at Portsmouth, Spurs and Queens Park Rangers, and his thoughts on working with Gareth Bale. Enjoy Graham

Joe Jordan: Inside Revie's Leeds (Part One)  

Joe Jordan was a footballer of immense talent and character. A proud Scot who is one of a select band of players to score at three World Cups finals, Joe's club career took him to the very top of the European game with Leeds, Manchester United and AC Milan. Joe's reflection on that immense Leeds team of the 1970s - under Don Revie - is a fascinating insight into a club whose natural talent was often overshadowed by their reputation for physical toughness. There are huge characters in this, Part One, of a conversation I hugely enjoyed. Jimmy Delaney, Bobby Collins, Jimmy Johnstone, Johan Cruyff, Revie, Billy Bremner, John Giles - Joe's reflections on a golden era will captivate you, I'm sure. Part Two will follow on Saturday. Sit back and enjoy. Graham

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