Ready for the kick-off
Les Murray and Craig Foster. Picture: Supplied

When Les "The Voice of Football" Murray says it is inevitable Australia will one day host the FIFA World Cup, it is hard not to share his confidence.

If anyone understands all of the nuances of the world game, it is Murray.

The soccer veteran is busy preparing to head up SBS' 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage from Brazil, and the month-long event marks Murray's eighth time commentating at the world's biggest single sporting contest.

SBS has promised an unprecedented amount of coverage for soccer fans and there is no escaping the anticipation in Murray's voice as he talks about the task in front of him.

"We have crack-of-dawn starts . . . and once we have done the show and various crosses to the Sydney studio we will probably have a bite to eat, and then settle down and watch all of the live games, which we have to watch because we have to comment on them," Murray said.

"It is 32 days straight that we will be working without a break but somebody has to do it."

Murray and Craig Foster will be based in Rio de Janeiro, where they will provide daily analysis, interviews and match round-ups in The FIFA World Cup Show, while David Zdrilic and Lucy Zelic will host matches from SBS' Sydney studio.

Every match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be broadcast live on SBS1 and SBS HD with more than 700 hours of coverage across two channels, kicking off with the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on Friday, June 13, at 3.30am on SBS1.

The only exceptions will be the concurrent group stage matches which will be broadcast live on SBS2 and then replayed on SBS1 immediately afterwards.

All matches will also be streamed online through SBS' World Game website, which features multi-angle replays, match statistics, tactical information, live text commentary, social integration, fantasy football and tipping as well as news, highlights, polls and photo galleries.

Murray, who said he was excited by the "refreshed" Socceroos squad, said Australia's first match against Chile was game he was anticipating the most.

"Obviously the most traumatic waiting period will be looking forward to the Socceroos' first game because that sort of waiting and wondering what fate awaits the Australian team just about leaves you short of breath," he said.

"So that is the most important game to watch, and then obviously whatever happens in that game, Australia's second game will be the most important."

Despite their dedication to providing comprehensive coverage, Murray said their studio near Copacabana Beach and the Avenida Atlantica fan zone, where between 500,000 and one million fans are expected to gather each day to watch the games live on giant screens, meant they would still get to experience the atmosphere on the streets.

"There is no country in the world whose culture has a higher affection for football than Brazil," Murray said.

"It impacts the whole country, everybody is a fan and everybody is an expert - men, women, children, it doesn't matter.

"I call it the land of football, not so much the home of football, and that infectious love affair the country has with football will come through, I am sure, on the coverage of the World Cup."

Closer to home, Murray said he believed Australia would have its chance to host the world game's biggest event one day.

"I think it is inevitable and we have to bid to host it again," Murray said.

"Two things we have to strive for in football and one is to win the World Cup one day, and the other is to host it one day."

The West Australian

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