Mario Melchiot’s Facebook Live Champions League Experience Is Utter Hell
Mario Melchiot knows more about football than you or I. He knows more about football than the both of us combined. A native of Amsterdam, Melchiot was a product of the legendary Ajax youth system, making his debut for the first team as a 20-year-old before transferring to Chelsea at just 22.
He played extensively in the Premier League for the Blues, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, as well as amassing 22 international caps for the Netherlands over an eight-year international spell.
This is all extremely impressive, as is winning the Eredivisie and the FA Cup, additional things Melchiot has done.
The Dutchman is now employed by FOX Sports, working the company’s Champions League broadcasts on Facebook Live as the color commentator. Alongside studio host Rachel Bonnetta and play-by-play commentator Mark Rogondino, the three provide a somewhat experimental, free live stream broadcast on Facebook.
Around 35K were tuned in today to watch the three sit around a little bar set and do something very different from what you might find on FS1 or NBCSN — it’s supposed to be a new age media setting where commenting, sharing and interaction is favored over the traditional broadcast style. It's just a lot more informal.
For Mario Melchiot and most viewers, it’s just hell. It’s a zoo of what you’d expect on the inter web. Here’s a random sampling of probably 90% of the general comments during today's match between Bayern Munich and Sevilla:
“It’s not flopping, it’s embellishment!…It’s not soccer, it’s football!” - Said by endless hordes of internet pedant warriors.
“Real Madrid are cheaters!…UEFAlona!…Why are you so biased against Barcelona?!...Why are you so biased against Real Madrid?!” -Neither of those clubs is playing here, this is Sevilla vs. Bayern. What are we even talking about?!
“Why do you hate Bayern Munich so much?” -Melchiot predicted Bayern would win 3-1. (They won 2-1).
“Arjen Robben is trash and a cheater.” -Arjen Robben didn’t come on until the 79th minute.
“That girl is hot.” -Just charming internet folk.
I think we can all agree that watching the Champions League for free is a good thing, but going to commentators for questions and opinions remains a bold strategy that ultimately really sucks. This is unfortunate because it's basically the premise of the entire exercise.
I don’t think Mario Melchiot will be back next year.