Pedro Cifuentes (Madrid, 1973) is a Spanish journalist and editor who teaches Multimedia Journalism and Digital Literacy at IE University. After joining the politics section in the newspaper El País in 2000, he worked for five years as editor of Encarta Online, and also acted as deputy editorial manager of Microsoft’s digital encyclopaedia in its Spanish and Latin American version. Regular contributor for several Spanish and Latin American media, he has managed content projects for both sides of the Atlantic and also translated into Spanish several books by Malcolm Gladwell, Anthony Giddens or Isaiah Berlin. He lives between Spain and Argentina and is a Communication Manager in AEMS-Ríos con Vida, an association awarded with the National Environmental Prize in Spain.
What is Offside9 about?
Offside9  is a bilingual site about football which was launched just before the 2010 South Africa’s World Cup. It offers witty articles about the game and its characters, as well as insights on the industry, live commentary on all matches via Twitter, especially chosen videos and predictions of results based on our proprietary statistical algorithm. On top of that, we try to be funny, except when debating with our community of users!
Who are the people running the website?
The site was created and is maintained by Daniel Altman, North American economist and journalist who has worked for The New York Times, and myself. Dan keeps a closer eye on the English version, and I do the same with the Spanish one, but the best content is always portrayed in both languages. The layout was designed by an Argentinian graphic designer who lives in Mendoza.
What does a journalist do during the World Cup?
The work a journalist does during the World Cup depends very much on the type of media he is working for. There are some journalists who attend all games and who live with the players and there are some others who never leave the press room and always stay with the same colleagues. Our case is particular (I had to cancel my trip because I fractured my fibula while I was actually playing football), but basically it is all about watching as many games as possible, read all the press that you can and get in touch with people from all over the world. The different touch of an article or a feature cannot be improvised: it comes from many years of curiosity, reading and direct experience.
Discipline is absolutely fundamental: for instance, you must finish your piece of work at a certain time in the day so they are read in different countries.
What other projects do you have in mind?
Besides working as a journalist, editor and translator, I have been recently involved in the creation of a network of blogs and I am also thinking to write a book on an issue that it is still a secret. Besides, it is quite possible that I will soon join a Latin-American business school faculty.
How do you live the World Cup in Argentina?
In terms of passion and the number of conversations on the World Cup, Argentina is quite probably the country of football. Streets are literally empty when the national team is playing and some people even take the day off. Argentine patriotism increases exponentially during this type of events. People really know about local and international football, basically because most football stars play overseas. Also, criticism is ruthless. I do not even dare going out after Spain lost against Switzerland…
Any favourite national team to lift the trophy?
As you have personally asked me to say it, I would say that Brazil and Spain will get to the final, but I would like to know first who is passing the first round…