We caught up with Premier League presenter Olivia Buzaglo

Charlie Coleman



Many dream of playing the beautiful game, while others are passionate enough that they can appreciate it just as much from the sidelines. We had the pleasure of catching up with Premier League reporter Olivia Buzaglo, where we discuss her introduction to working within the game and her love for Chelsea.


When I was young, I did dance and ballet and I don't really know how I made the switch to football, but I did. One day, I said to my dad, “I want you to take me down to the local team, I really want to play and be a striker.” When he took me to my first game, he said, “right, £2 for every goal you score”. I thought, great incentive...I scored seven. After the game, he said, “the goal bonus is going down to 50p a goal!” I will never forget that.

Football was always on in our house and fast forward 28 years, it's still on every day. I was obsessed, it must have just been me sitting with my dad, watching all the games and just loving it. My first football memory is at Stanford Bridge, it was an absolutely cracking game: 4-4 against Aston Villa on Boxing Day. That was always my Christmas present to go to the Boxing Day game. I always used to get so excited because I could never go to Chelsea games. I remember going in my Chelsea hat, my Chelsea scarf, my Chelsea coat, and my Chelsea shirt, I was head to toe in Chelsea, and I will never, ever forget that game. Michael Ballack scored and Ashley Cole was sent off for a handball on the line. It was unreal.

Getting Chelsea tickets was so hard, I don't actually know how my dad managed to get the tickets but my face on Christmas Day, when I opened up those tickets, it was literally a dream. I was very lucky. I'd like to think I'm still as obsessed with football as I was back then. I was always like one of the boys at school, always played football with them and always wanted to talk about football with them.

Dream job.

Pursuing your dream job is always something that you always believe you can do, but then you don't actually think it's going to happen. How many people will sit there and say they do their dream job for a living? I'm very lucky in that sense. When I think about how I got to play football, it was more about who I knew and the timing of things, because I studied media at university, and I tailored my degree to sports because that's what I wanted to do. But through someone I interviewed for my dissertation, they told me about Premier League productions, and I knew that getting my foot in the door in a company like that would be just the most important thing at that stage.

It was almost like I fell into it because I always knew that I wanted to be in front of a camera talking about football. That was my dream and I always knew I could do it. Then suddenly, four years later, I've been out in Abu Dhabi interviewing Peter Čech pitch side for Channel 4. Even though I fell into it, I also worked so hard for it as well, football is my life. When I'm not working, I'm at home watching football. When I'm not at home watching football, I'm at a game watching football. I can't even describe what it actually means.

More than a game.

I remember watching a Champions League game at home, Chelsea needed to win against Shakhtar Donetsk and we scored in the last minute, I went crazy! Screaming and jumping around the living room, and my mum said “it's only a game.” It's really hard to explain to people who don't like football just how much it means. It’s not just a game. There are so many amazing moments in history, how can you not like football? Even when there's an international break and England don’t play on the weekend, you're like, what do people do that don't like football?

I’m way too emotionally involved in Chelsea, way too much. I think I need to take a step back and not be so emotionally involved; they affect my mood. I'm happy if we win, I need a time-out if we lose, but I can't help it. I wish I could change that because some people say, “come on Liv”, but I can't explain what it actually means.

I think it's difficult to explain to people who don’t like football just how much it means to everyone that's involved in the game. I think England internationally is a good example because it brings the whole nation together. The World Cup just seems to be the one thing that brings everyone together, even people that don't like football are really getting on board with England and just the vibe is amazing. There's nothing like it when all your friends who support different clubs come together and everyone is supporting England, I love that. For someone who loves football so much, I struggle to see how people don't. It’s everything. It’s my work, it's my hobby, it's what I do for fun, it's what I consume at home. I just can't get enough of it. Genuinely, I don't know what I would do without football. It's everything in my life. I always say to people, if you don't know football, then I don't really have much else to talk about, because I'm obsessed with it. Nothing for me compares to football.

Is it coming home?

As much as I love watching Chelsea and watching the Premier League week-in-week-out, I just love a major tournament. There is just something about a tournament that is so exciting. England hasn't had the best preparation for this tournament, but I think that suits us because I think we don't do well when the pressure is on us.

I love seeing those players that have battles every weekend, seeing them all come together and the passion they have, you know how much they love it. I'm just so excited to watch England in a World Cup with no expectations and see how far this team can go. We know they can do it but it's just a case of doing it when it really, really matters.

I've always been proud to support England. I always used to say that winning a World Cup would never mean as much to me as winning the Champions League with Chelsea because they do give me two very different feelings. But these last couple of years when you get so close, we should have got to a World Cup final in 2018, then to a Euros Final in 2021...I think that then gives you that hope and I think it’s the hope that kills you with England, isn't it? I think the expectation not being on us is actually a very good thing.

I've been to Wembley to watch England games and they are good but to be there to watch the Lionesses after everything that everyone's gone through in terms of women's football, the struggles that they've had goes way back to when they couldn't even play football. It was amazing. I never expected it to have the effect it did. For them to win the Euros and to be there to witness it at Wembley...I can’t even describe it, it was just incredible. Now, hopefully, it’s the men’s turn. 

Chelsea, Chelsea.

José Mourinho’s first spin at Chelsea is my favourite era. In terms of enjoying football and loving every single weekend watching them play, I just fell in love with José Mourinho. I loved him so much. When you think back to when he was appointed, no one really knew anything about him. This charismatic, cool, good-looking man just walks into the press room, sits down, has all the journalists in stitches, and he just says, “I'm the special one.” That will stay in football forever. José Mourinho was so good for the Premier League. He was exactly what the Premier League needed at that time and he's just top-tier entertainment.

Thomas Tuchel was a very close second. He obviously won us the Champions League and that is the best day of my life. That night in Porto and everything that came with him, I loved his personality. Same with José, really. I think they both got similar traits. They're very charismatic, I love both of their personalities, I love their humour, I love the way they spoke about the game. 

There is nothing like being there to watch your team win the Champions League. Not a lot of people can say they've watched their team win the Champions League, and I'm very lucky to have been one of those people. That night in Porto is genuinely – I don't know if this is sad or not – but it's genuinely the best day of my life.

Old school.

I have so many Chelsea kits at home, literally going through the ages. I played football a lot, so it was a chance for me to show off my kits. It's just wicked looking at the different kits, I'm very lucky to have got a lot of kits over the last few years that I've been sent. I love getting them out and looking at them which now has expanded to more than just Chelsea, I've got such a wide range of different kits, one of my standouts is a pink South Korea shirt.

I think all the kits nowadays are so modernised. England obviously released their away kit for the World Cup and it's got a little bit of old school to it, I love that. Fashion is such a huge aspect of the game - I think that's something that the manufacturers consider when they're making a kit, they want to do things differently.

The old-school orange and grey Chelsea kit is an all-time favourite, I really do love the classic vibe. I would also say the Samsung kits were iconic. I think about the players that put on that shirt and as a Chelsea fan, that was like, not the glory days necessarily, but some of the players we had playing over that time were just incredible.

Photography + video: Charlie Coleman

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