Chain introduces La Li Ga League
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Last year, Chain won an Asia Star Award at the Asia Model Festival Awards.
By Suwitcha Chaiyong
Photos by Varuth Hirunyatheb
Everybody knows that the English Premier League is Thai football fans’ favourite foreign league. However, Spanish league La Li Ga has recently stepped into the limelight with its own top-notch football clubs, including Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona, which are home to superstars like Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. Inside La Li Ga, a sport TV programme with great potential, has aired on Channel 8 and Sun Channel since the middle of last year. Singer and football fan Tana Limpayaraya (Chain) co-hosts the programme.
Aside from Inside La Li Ga, the 26-year-old, now on hiatus from his singing career, hosts another TV programme, Sa Moe Ra Poom Idea (Brainchild) on Channel 3. Chain is also preparing for an upcoming TV drama Temporary Husbands.
Student Weekly met up with Chain at the studio where he records his sport programme. He was eager to tell us about his TV job and his love of football.
Student Weekly: When did you first become interested in football?
Chain: When I was a primary student, I studied at Joseph Upatham School, where there were a lot of football fields. A lot of students played football and were good at it. I also played football with my friends.
I also noticed that my dad enjoyed watching Manchester United F.C., so I watched the games with him and became a fan of the team. I really got into them and saved money so I could buy the team’s expensive souvenirs. When my dad found out about it, he scolded me so bad. [Laughs.]
Student Weekly: When did your interests shift to the Spanish league La Li Ga?
Chain: When Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United FC, I suddenly liked him because he had a cool personality. Then, he moved to a Spanish football club, Real Madrid CF, which made me become interested in La Li Ga.
Student Weekly: What makes La Li Ga so interesting to you?
Chain: La Li Ga is one of the world’s best football leagues. There are a lot of outstanding players in it. Players in that league use different tactics and styles from other leagues. They can score goals even when they are blocked by defenders or in tiny spaces. It is one of their charms.
Student Weekly: Do you still watch English Premier League?
Chain: I am still a fan of Manchester United FC My followers on social media also know about this. When Manchester United FC lost, I got a lot of teasing messages from fans of other teams.
Student Weekly: How do you feel about hosting a programme on your favourite sport?
Chain: It is great. I’m very happy. Before I had to buy sport newspapers to catch up on games and players I like. Now, I have a professional team that prepares in-depth information for me.
Student Weekly: Do you have any tips on how to look natural and professional on TV?
Chain: I’m interested in the topics we discuss on the show. But for the first couple of recordings, I had to learn how to pronounce the names of some teams with Spanish accents. I wasn’t familiar with them, but after a while, I got used to the names.
Student Weekly: What are some differences between hosting Inside La Li Ga and Sa Moe Ra Poom Idea (Brainchild)?
Chain: They are totally different, but I try to approach them both with my cheerful personality. On Inside La Li Ga, there is a section where I have to meet fans around the country. It’s similar to Brainchild, in which I have to interview people with creative ideas. Brainchild inspired me to come up with something new.
Student Weekly: How did you enjoy watching a football match in Spain?
Chain: It was the best. I always told my dad that if I became rich, I would take him to see a football match abroad, but I thought it was unlikely to happen because it costs a lot of money. I got this opportunity from working on Inside La Li Ga.
At Camp Nou Football Stadium, Barcelona, I saw FC Barcelona beat Sevilla FC 2-1. It was an impressive match. Also, I went to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. That seven-day trip felt very short, but I was so happy.
Student Weekly: Is it true that you learnt how to shoot a gun?
Chain: Yes. When I was young, there was a registered air gun at my place, so I took a class to learn how to use it. The classes were fun. Because of the lessons, I could pass a shooting exam at the reserve officer training corps very easy.
Student Weekly: Do you have any messages for Thai football fans?
Chain: Please watch Inside La Li Ga on Channel 8 and Sun Channel. The programme offers you league highlights. You can get a lot of information and have more fun watching the matches.
limelight (n): the centre of public attention
brainchild (n): a clever and original idea, plan or invention
souvenir (n): something you buy or keep to help you remember a holiday or special event
tactic (n): a planned way of doing something