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Heat of the moment: Commentators' finest hours

Published: Sunday 20 July 2014, 11.38CET
"Come on, my little man", "goal, goal, goal – I am going mad!", "I'm going to end it all in all right here"; UEFA.com selects the greatest commentaries in European football.
Heat of the moment: Commentators' finest hours
Kenneth Wolstenholme (with the ball) and the BBC commentary team for the 1966 FIFA World Cup finals ©Getty Images

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Published: Sunday 20 July 2014, 11.38CET

Heat of the moment: Commentators' finest hours

"Come on, my little man", "goal, goal, goal – I am going mad!", "I'm going to end it all in all right here"; UEFA.com selects the greatest commentaries in European football.

Great commentary – on radio or television – has the power to capture a moment even better than images; UEFA.com's correspondents choose some of the off-the-cuff comments that have gone down in history.

Albania
"I think the score is still 0-0. I can't see very well as we are so high up in the media box. It's amazing. Wow. The game just finished and we tied with Barcelona. No [Albanian] team has ever done that before. We did it."
Albanian Radio's Ahmet Shqarri covering KS Flamurtari's 0-0 1986/87 UEFA Cup first-round second leg draw at Camp Nou

Austria
"Here's Krankl, he goes into the box, shoots ... goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal. I am going mad! Krankl scores and it's 3-2 to Austria"
National radio commentator Edi Finger describes Hans Krankl's winner for Austria in the 3-2 victory over West Germany at the 1978 FIFA World Cup – the 'Miracle of Cordoba'

Belgium
"They are on the run, they are on the run! It is unbelievable! Totally in panic ... There it is! There it is! I do not even know who scored it, but we are back on the road to Mexico! Is it Georges Grün? It could be. Georges Grün! Oh! … It could not last, it could not last. Yes, Georges. Thank you Georges."
Belgian TV commentator Rik De Saedelaar watches as Georges Grün's play-off goal in Rotterdam earns the Red Devils a place in the 1986 World Cup at the expense of the Netherlands

Bosnia and Herzegovina
"Here he goes, here he goes! Vedo, Vedo, Vedatore! Whatever, Terminator Vedator is there. Glory to his mother, who gave birth to him. Vedad, Vedatore, blue eyes, Ibišević – 1-0. Zenica, Sarajevo – get on your feet! ... 10, 9, 8 ... 1, end. Bosnia are in Brazil. We have lived for this. Vedo, we made history today."
TV Face's Marjan Mijajlović greets Vedad Ibišević's 68th-minute clincher against Lithuania in Kaunas, a goal that took Bosnia and Herzegovina to the 2014 World Cup – and then counts down to the final whistle

Bulgaria
"Ginola, and now this is probably the last chance for us if they can get the ball towards Bernard Lama. Kostadinov bursts in ... and a goal! God is Bulgarian. I don't know what will happen in Paris tonight. Unbelievable, but here 50,000 Frenchmen are stunned. Now I want only one thing – Lesley Mottram to blow the final whistle. I don't know how you feel in Bulgaria, but I should stop talking otherwise my heart may give out in this great moment."
Having earlier bemoaned the fate of another generation destined not to realise their potential, Bulgarian TV's Petar Vasilev changes his tune as Emil Kostadinov’s last-minute winner against France sends the national team to the 1994 World Cup

Croatia
"If this match ends 1-1 there will be extra time; if it is still 1-1 after extra time the match will be replayed on Wednesday ... and I have a ticket to fly home on Monday. Are they going to let me rebook the ticket? How am I going to get home then?"
RT Zagreb's Mladen Delić has a moment of panic during the 1978 World Cup final; Argentina beat the Netherlands 3-1 in extra time to save him the worry

Czechoslovakia
"Everything now is in the hands of Antonín Panenka. Antonín Panenka can decide it; if he hits the target, we are European champions. Antonín Panenka, 28-year-old midfielder of Bohemians Praha, Maier in the goal. Panenka! Goal! Goal! We are European champions for the year 1976! It really is true, the fight is over. Bravo, bravo, bravo!"
Karol Polák and Vít Holubec covering the shoot-out at the end of Czechoslovakia's 1976 UEFA European Championship final meeting with West Germany for Czechoslovakian TV

Czech Republic
"So, who is left? Miroslav Kadlec. The players have chosen him themselves. None of them are watching to see how Mirek Kadlec is going to take it. Unfortunately I have to watch. It is there! It is there! Czech Republic are going to play in the EURO final. Miroslav Kadlec has scored – it means we have won 6-5 on penalties."
Czech TV commentator Jaromír Bosák holds his nerve to watch the Czech Republic's decisive penalty in the EURO '96 semi-final against France

Denmark
"Still Vilfort  – and there Vilfort ... YEEEAAAAHHH! Hutlihut! Nononono! This is not true – it is not happening! Goddamit, yes it is! We have beaten them all – France's Jacques Delors, Dutch Van Basten of fantasten or whatever their names are – and now Helmut Kohl, whom we are now making ice-Kohl. This is hard to believe – 2-0 for Denmark and we are 12 minutes from EURO glory ... [referring to the scoreboard] Take a look at those digits. What a beautiful sign they have put up there!"
TV2's Flemming Toft after seeing Kim Vilfort hit the second goal in Denmark's 1992 UEFA European Championship final win against Germany in Gothenberg

Denmark
"Michael Laudrup, Michael Laudrup – now he scores! No, he waits ... YESSS! Michael Laudrup! It is an absolutely insane angle to shoot from! That man is fantastic! 3-1 to Denmark!"
Svend Gehrs from the DR channel celebrates as Michael Laudrup scores in Denmark's 6-1 thrashing of Uruguay at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico; it was the Danes' first finals

England
"Here comes Hurst. Some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now! It's four!"
BBC's Kenneth Wolstenholme catches history in the making as England score the last goal in their 4-2 victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final

Estonia
"Oh-ho-ho! What did our Vassiljev just do? Ai-ai-ai! This Kostja Vassiljev is just an unbelievable man. Oi-oi-oi! What was that? I just can't say anything. I don't have any words any more."
ETV's commentary team of Kristjan Kalkun and 103-times capped Indrek Zelinski babble excitedly after Konstantin Vassiljev notches the winning goal in Northern Ireland in Estonia's last UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier to earn a play-off place

France
"Come on, my little man. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Late TF1 commentator Thierry Roland urges Luis Fernandez on as he slots the winning penalty against Brazil in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup; Fernandez is still known as 'Mon Petit Bonhomme' to this day

France
"I think that after having seen that we can all die in peace."
TF1's Thierry Roland after France's triumph in the 1998 World Cup final

France
"Oh Zinédine, not this. Not this Zinédine, not this Zinédine, oh no, not this. Not today. Not now. Not after everything you've done."
Thierry Gilardi responds to Zinédine Zidane's dismissal in the 2006 World Cup final

Georgia
"I can imagine what is happening now in Tbilisi! The Georgian capital is celebrating! The whole country is celebrating!"
Soviet commentator Kote Makharadze – who was Georgian by birth – after FC Dinamo Tbilisi won the 1980/81 European Cup Winners' Cup; his comments prompted an interrogation by the KGB as to which "country" he meant, since it could have been understood as advocating Georgia's secession from the USSR

Germany
"Now Germany on the left wing with Schäfer. Schäfer's pass to Morlock is blocked. Boszik, always Boszik, the right winger of Hungary, has the ball. But he's lost it to Schäfer. Schäfer crosses to the centre, header, it's cleared. Now Rahn could shoot from a distance, Rahn shoots ... Goal, goal, goal, goal!"
Radio commentator Herbert Zimmermann relates Helmut Rahn's winner for West Germany against Hungary in the final of the 1954 World Cup – the 'Miracle of Berne'

Gibraltar
"Good work by Walker, Gibraltar with space here, with a shot across goal – ohhhh, just beyond the far post. Inches away from being 1-0 for Gibraltar. Tremendous effort from Kyle Casciaro! ... [three minutes later] Chance here for Gibraltar, Kyle Casciaro once again going ... oh, that's a replay, my apologies!"
Local commentator Paul Grant gets a sense of deja vu during Gibraltar's 1-1 draw against Estonia in May 2014

©Getty Images

Greece striker Angelos Charisteas

Greece
"Gooooooooooaaaal for Charisteas! We advance, they retreat! Check the history books again! Perhaps Vasco da Gama was Greek? Greece are on the verge of becoming European champions. I'm done commentating!"
Sport FM's Giorgos Chelakis, who had christened Greece's UEFA EURO 2004 team 'The Pirate Ship', celebrates Angelos Charisteas's winner against Portugal in the final

Hungary
"They're coming, they're coming; the Czechs are coming!"
Hungary's most famous commentator György Szepesi sounds the alarm, screaming into his microphone, as Czechoslovakia break in a 1970 World Cup play-off, staged in Marseille; the Czechs won 4-1, with Hungary missing their first World Cup since 1950

Iceland
"Gudjón, congratulations. I just have to take you in my arms to embrace you and kiss you on behalf of the Icelandic nation. Dear boy, that is how to do it."
Icelandic TV's Ingólfur Hannesson gets overwhelmed as he interviews national coach Gudjón Thordarsson in the wake of Iceland's 1-1 draw at home to world champions France in UEFA EURO 2000 qualifying

Italy
"It's a goal! It's over! It's over! It's over! It's over! The sky is blue over Berlin! We're world champions! World champions, Sandro!"
RAI's Marco Civoli addresses co-commentator Sandro Mazzola after Fabio Grosso's penalty gives Italy victory against France in the 2006 World Cup final in Berlin; The Sky Over Berlin was the Italian title of the Wim Wenders film Wings Of Desire, which depicts angels at work in the German capital

Montenegro
"Some of my colleagues wrote that [Yugoslavia coach] Ivica Osim can drink 11 bottles of whisky. I will join him tonight and we will drink together. Until dawn."
Montenegrin commentator Milorad Djurković celebrates Yugoslavia's victory against Spain in the last 16 of the 1990 World Cup

Netherlands
"I suddenly have the feeling that we will progress to the semi-finals ... Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Uh-e-uh-e-uh!"
Dutch commentator Jack van Gelder loses composure as Dennis Bergkamp scores in the final minutes of the Netherlands' 1998 World Cup quarter-final with Argentina

Netherlands
"Still, we walked straight into that."
Unnamed Dutch TV commentator sees Gerd Müller score the winner for West Germany in the final of the 1974 World Cup, which the Netherlands had led 1-0

Norway
"We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten England 2-1 in football! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten England! England – birthplace of giants. Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana – we have beaten them all. We have beaten them all. Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me? ... I have a message for you: We have knocked England out of the football World Cup. Maggie Thatcher, as they say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden in New York: your boys took a hell of a beating!"
Norwegian state radio's Bjørge Lilleilen responds to Norway's 2-1 World Cup qualifying win against England on 9 September 1981

Portugal
"Juventus might be Europe's Old Lady but Benfica are Europe's Old Gentleman!"
Nuno Matos for radio station Antena 1 covering the dying minutes of SL Benfica's goalless draw at Juventus as the Eagles made it to the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League final

Republic of Ireland
"This kick could decide it all. The nation holds its breath. Yes, we're there!"
RTE TV commentator George Hamilton watches David O'Leary step up to take the winning penalty for Ireland in the 1990 World Cup round of 16 shoot-out against Romania

Republic of Ireland
"..."
Overwhelmed with emotion at the way the Irish fans continued to sing The Fields of Athenry near the end of their 4-0 loss to Spain at UEFA EURO 2012, the commentator for Germany's ZDF TV simply stopped speaking for three and a half minutes

Romania
"We are finalists! We won the cup!"
TVR commentator Teoharie Coca-Cosma after FC Steaua Bucureşti's success against Barcelona in the 1986 European Champion Clubs' Cup final

©Getty Images

Dmitri Torbinski scores against the Dutch

Russia
"I'm going to end it all right here on the spot!"
Russian TV's Georgi Cherdantsev momentarily considers the prospect of dying happy after Dmitri Torbinski puts Russia ahead against the Netherlands in extra time of their UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-final

Scotland
"[Dalglish] needs some support. He'll get it now from Gemmill. Gemmill could go all the way on his own here. Yes! Beautiful goal! Archie Gemmill!"
BBC Scotland's Archie MacPherson's commentary on Archie Gemmill's goal against the Netherlands at the 1978 World Cup, as revived in the celebrated 1996 film Trainspotting

Serbia
"Here are the Partizan players coming out on the pitch ... and there are our players!"
RT Belgrade's Milojko Pantić failing to maintain neutrality ahead of a Yugoslav-era derby match between FK Crvena zvezda and FK Partizan

Serbia
"What a shot and what a fantastic save by Ljukovčan. Hold on, hold on ... let's see why the German players are celebrating. Oh, yes, Germany lead 2-1."
RT Belgrade's Vladimir Stojaković gets confused during a 1986 World Cup qualifier between Yugoslavia and East Germany

Serbia
"And here's the substitution, the experienced Minutes, No22, is coming on."
RT Belgrade's Milojko Pantić misunderstands the announcement on the big screen (22 minutes: 10 Bergkamp out) as Patrick Vieira comes on for the injured Dennis Bergkamp 22 minutes into a 2003 UEFA Champions League match between Arsenal FC and AFC Ajax

Slovakia
"Reality is even more beautiful than dreams."
RTVS sports commentator Marcel Merčiak after Slovakia won 1-0 in Poland to advance to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Slovakia
"Let me introduce you to the new Slovak hero. His name is Ján Mucha. Janko, allow me – on behalf of the whole country – to kiss your miracle hands."
RTVS sports commentator Ľuboš Hlavena kissing the goalkeeper's gloves after the same game

Slovakia
"The fog is so thick at the Pasienky Stadium that even the birds are choosing to walk."
An unknown commentator covering an FK Inter Bratislava game in 2005 conjures a brilliant image

Soviet Union
"Oleg Blokhin with the ball now. He hits it. GOOOAAAALLL! But unfortunately the ball hit the post, he was offside and in fact my assistants tell me it was not Blokhin."
Georgian-born Kote Makharadze, a popular Soviet-era commentator, covering a now forgotten FC Dynamo Kyiv or USSR match

©Getty Images

'Iniesta de mi vida!'

Spain
"Iniesta, oh my life!"
Former Spain coach José Antonio Camacho greets Andrés Iniesta's winner for La Roja in the 2010 World Cup final; the phrase "Iniesta de mi vida!" has taken on a life of its own since, summing up the optimism of the time – and appearing on T-shirts

Sweden
"Japanese, Japanese, Japanese defending; Japanese wildly clearing their lines and Swedes equally wildly attacking. Japanese jumping; Japanese hurling themselves; Japanese at full stretch; Japanese doing everything to bring victory to Nippon. And Swedes, Swedes who have put up a proper fight but who have now been beaten."
Sveriges Radio's Sven Jerring witnesses Japan defying the odds to beat Sweden 3–2 at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Switzerland
"Don't worry, there is only one Georges Bregy."
With Switzerland 1-0 up through a Georges Bregy free-kick in their opening game at the 1994 World Cup, Swiss TV's Beni Turnherr looks to calm fans when the United States get a free-kick; inevitably the US score

Turkey
"Well done, Rüştü! I kiss your hands, Rüştü! I kiss you everywhere. I kiss you everywhere. I kiss you everywhere."
Commentator Ertem Şener is overwhelmed by goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber’s performance in Beşiktaş JK’s 1-0 UEFA Champions League win at Manchester United FC on 25 November 2009

Turkey
"Walsh hasn't had any influence on the game in the second half. I can't see him in the game at all."
Former Turkey and Fenerbahçe SK midfielder Can Bartu commenting on Beşiktaş JK's Alan Walsh, not realising he had been substituted at half-time

Turkey
"FC Sion will be named 'depresSION' after this evening."
Commentator Ümit Aktan takes delight in FC Sion's 4-1 loss at home to Galatasaray AŞ in a 1997/98 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round game

Turkey
"Who put the bar there?"
Commentator Emre Tilev reacts in horror after a long shot from Beşiktaş's Ricardo Quaresma comes back off the post in a 2011/12 UEFA Europa League match against Stoke City FC

Wales
"They will be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight."
Sky Sports' Jeff Stelling greets a victory for the Welsh side with a knowing smile; now known as The New Saints FC, the former Total Network Solutions FC were in fact based in Llansantffraid

Last updated: 21/07/14 17.44CET

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