[SOCCER ON THE AIR] ESPN has added former Brazilian World Cup champion Gilberto Silva and former Dutch star Ruud van Nistelrooy as studio analysts for its World Cup coverage.
They will appear on pre-match, halftime and post-match shows and other ESPN programs throughout the quadrennial tournament, joining a crew of World Cup analysts that includes Michael Ballack (Germany), Alexi Lalas (USA), Steve McManaman (England), Santiago Solari (Argentina) and Taylor Twellman (USA).
Gilberto Silva, who played 16 games for Brazil in three World Cups, spent six seasons in England with Arsenal. In a career that spanned 19 years, van Nistelrooy won at least one league title in three different leagues -- Dutch Eredivisie (PSV), English Premier League (with Manchester United) and Spain’s La Liga (Real Madrid). He currently ranks fourth all-time in goals in the Champions League.