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BBC team puts England on the spot

The BBC has brought in a team of experts to study all 212 penalties taken at the World Cup to help England take the perfect spot kick.

The team has crashed out of previous tournaments on penalties including the 1990 World Cup semi-final against West Germany and again in 2006 against Portugal.

Mark Cole, who is in charge of BBC production at Brazil 2014, said: "We've done some special research on the 212 penalties that have been taken at World Cups and our team will tell you how to take that perfect penalty".

Gary Lineker will present the BBC guide which will look at which nations take the best - and worst - penalties and identify how best to score a goal from the spot.

Former Blackburn Rovers striker Jason Roberts, who is part of the BBC's presenting team alongside stars including Rio Ferdinand, Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage, said it was impossible to recreate the pressure of taking a kick during the tournament.

He said: "It's been a scourge, hasn't it? But it's one of those things I guess when people talk about preparing and taking penalties, it's about the pressure of that moment, you can't recreate the pressure of it especially in a World Cup. How do you replicate that? I don't know, I guess it's about the players having a mental attitude towards it and being able to be positive and think about what could happen as opposed to what the negatives are."

The BBC team, which is based in a Fifa-built studio by Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach, also includes former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen who is leaving the corporation after the tournament after 22 years.

The BBC will show 31 matches live and more than 160 hours of programming including highlights and replays.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: "The BBC is the home of big sporting events and it doesn't get much bigger than the World Cup. Our aim is for this to be the first truly 24/7 World Cup and we will deliver a complete experience for our audience through both traditional and digital platforms. We've put together a great cast of pundits, presenters, commentators and reporters to steer audiences though the tournament and we can't wait to bring the infectious excitement of this competition to our viewers and listeners wherever and whenever they want it."


From Belfast Telegraph