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CONNECT THE WORLD

Interview With Harry Harris

Aired June 9, 2010 - 00:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, it's hard to say who is more excited for kickoff, the fans, the players or our Connector of the Day today, Harry Harris. He's a legend in football broadcasting and he may just know more about the sport than anybody else in the world. Well, at least he thinks so, anyway.

I sat down with him here in London this week and I started by asking him one of the questions from our viewers -- that's you, of course -- why is this World Cup more hyped than previous tournaments?

And this is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARRY HARRIS, FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that's simple. It's the first one in Africa. And I think everyone is looking to see what's going to happen there. There's a lot of problems surrounding security, the stadium, transport. It -- it was a bit of a risk for people to nominate the first World Cup in Africa.

I'm really hopeful that all these issues will -- will come together in a positive light. And I'm pretty sure that they will.

ANDERSON: Slyri Frankline says: "What is your opinion of the African countries, then, in this -- in this tournament?"

HARRIS: Well, I -- I think endemically, World Cups, the -- the home nations always do very well. South Africa, I hope, does very well. Unfortunately, I don't think South Africa have a very good team. But I think the top man, the -- the enthusiasm of the crowd, the noise they're going to generate and the color -- I hope it literally is enough to actually make the mock out (ph) stages, at least.

ANDERSON: All right, I know you love a bit of punditry. And I know there's a new ap out there called iPundit. And I know you're associated with it. Just give me a -- a sense of what it does and then we're going to talk about what you think is going to happen in the World Cup.

HARRIS: Well, it's -- it's a free ap...

ANDERSON: Yes.

HARRIS: -- from Thompson. And -- and, of course, this ap is going to be a fantastic tool for all the fans who are going, all the fans who are watching on TV. They can (INAUDIBLE) iPundit. And if they can get the results better than iPundit, Palm is going to give them a free trip to a European championship match.

ANDERSON: OK. You are an adviser to iPundit. A question then from Jurgen Brul from Suriname. He says: "Who do you think will win the World Cup and who do you think is the best player in the tournament?"

HARRIS: Well, I said I think England will win the World Cup. The best player in the tournament, that's an exceptionally good question. I think there's probably about six world class players at that highest possible level -- Ronaldo, Kakar (ph), Messi (ph) and Rundi (ph). And I think if England doesn't win the World Cup, Rundi is going to have to be the best player in the World Cup. So (INAUDIBLE) has got to be (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: All right. Start from Saturday then for England with the England/USA match.

What does Mr. IPundit reckon it's going to happen in that match?

HARRIS: Well, I'll have a little bit of a look and see what he's been up to. And he predicts 1-1. So he would normally start slowly. And I think that they develop into a -- a pattern in the World Cup. Normally, the teams that win the World Cup actually start very slowly. And I think a 1-1 draw isn't a bad result for -- for England.

ANDERSON: All right, Lex has written to us. He says: "What team do you think will possibly come from behind and be a big surprise?"

HARRIS: I think the Dutch team has the capability of surprising other people, at least I thought that until Arjen Robben slightly tore his hamstring. I -- I think Robben, for me, it's going to be the -- the cast (INAUDIBLE) but very, very exciting Dutch team.

I'd personally like to see England and Brazil in the finals. But I don't think Brazil has a phenomenal team anymore. Capello thinks he might be (INAUDIBLE) in Italy. He's Italian. But I think it could end being even Poland.

ANDERSON: Mr. Wani from Washington, D.C. says: "How do you think Germany will fare without Mr. Michael Ballack and who will come out in the group of (INAUDIBLE)?"

HARRIS: Ah. I don't think Germany will fare very well. I think that even with Ballack. I think Ballack is sort of like past his sell by date a bit, but he's still very influential in the -- in the German team and will be a huge miss for them. I just think the German team always galvanize themselves for a World Cup, but they really haven't got much up front in the (INAUDIBLE) sense.

ANDERSON: Greg Sparks -- and this is a really interesting one and I want to see what you say on this: "Do you think the World Cup will ever be threatened by Champions League or another league?"

HARRIS: Yes, it's a good question. Look, the World Cup is already threatened by the Champions League, in my view. I mean I -- I think the Champions League is a stronger tournament, in many ways, than the World Cup because...

ANDERSON: It's a club tournament, of course, as opposed to a country tournament.

HARRIS: Yes. Well, you have a lot of the best players in the world playing in the top teams that play in the Champions League. So in a sense, it -- it already has a great strength there.

But the World Cup for me, you know, the national fervor and, you know -- I think the World Cup is something special. But, of course, you know, there -- there's a lot of antagonism toward it at certain times and certain issues. And in the future, it wouldn't surprise me if there was a World Cup of football leagues.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: And you can find Harry Harris on the blog, on the site, CNN.com/connect. Keep throwing your questions and we'll bring Harry back as the tournament gets underway.

And tomorrow, your Connector of the Day is a commentator with a very different -- or certainly from a very different world, as it were. Piers Morgan is best known as a judge on "Britain's Got Talent" and its American counterpart. Now, the former tabloid editor is dishing on all of the celebrities that he's encountered and created. Let me tell you, he'll be answering your questions, so head to our Web site. Get involved. Remember where you're -- to tell us where you're writing in from, CNN.com/connect.

END