With the World Cup coming up in 50 days, all eyes are on international football. With every injury, turn of form, and break-out star, the only question is: will they or won’t they make it?
Between now, there’s little more than speculation when it comes to squads. So in such a controversial moment, we’ve decided to bring you the definitive top five commentary moments of years gone by on the world stage.
Of course, when we say definitive, we’re assuming you take our opinion as gospel. If you disagree, feel free to show us what we’ve missed in the comments. Until then, sit back, and listen to some goosebump-inducing moments…
Kenneth Wolstenholme, 1966: “They think it’s all over…it is now”
The saving grace of English football on the International stage. Bobby Moore seems to be calmly running down the clock with the West Germany side dead on their feet and England seconds from being crowned world champions at Wembley.
The referee has the whistle in his mouth before Moore sends a long ball up to Geoff Hurst who is one-on-one. Iconic commentator Kennth Wolstenholme see’s fans running onto pitch and loses track of what is happening, creating one of the great lines. Forgetting any pitch invaders, Hurst is focused on creating history and claiming his hat-trick, the rest was down to a sweet strike on his left foot.
Steve Wilson, 2014: “A thoroughly unforgivable performance… and a thoroughly unforgettable performance”
It was never a smooth ride at any point for Brazil in their home World Cup. Having to come from behind against Croatia as Marcelo’s own goal was the first ball in the net at the tournament. In the knock-outs, they survived a nail-biting shoot-out with Chile and despite beating Colombia, lost Neymar and captain Thiago Silva for the semi-final.
This proved pivotal. If that was tough, this was a firm battering in the balls as Germany silenced a nation in 29 minutes of football. In the last four of a major tournament, this was unheard of, especially for such an esteemed footballing powerhouse like Brazil. Caving under the pressure, BBC’s Steve Wilson was brutally honest on the most embarrassing night in Brazil’s history.
John Motson, 2006: “Zidane’s career ends in disgrace”
A footballing god with the technical ability ranking him alongside some of the game’s best and a reputation that was pretty flawless. Yet in his final bow, on the grandest stage, having put his country ahead in the World Cup final, he tarnished it forever.
Zinedine Zidane will be the only man who can ever fathom an answer for the questions everyone has asked since, “why on earth did you ‘butt him Zizou?”. Marco Materazzi may have insulted his mother, but you can bet the rest of the French squad and Raymond Domenech in particular will be thinking it was there’s to lose if Zidane didn’t lash out. Cue John Motson to sum it up in five words.
Victor Morales, 1986: “Diego! Diego! Diego!”
1986. Diego Maradona scored two of the most iconic World Cup goals in the same game at the expense of England. The opening goal is eternally known as ‘The Hand of God’ and still makes grown men cry to this day. The second is simply one of the most sublime, skilful and memorable goals of all time.
Argentinian commentator Victor Morales couldn’t contain his emotion for what he had witnessed. The cry of ‘goal’ was incredibly loud and long, he painted the scenes perfectly. Translating what he said, “I am crying for Jesus Christ, long live football, always Maradona.” A miniature minotaur beginning with an ‘M’ for Argentina shocking the world, somethings never change.
Jack van Gelder, 1998: “DENNIS BERGKAMP!”
France 1998 will be remembered for many moments: David Beckham’s red card; Scotland were actually in a World Cup and Ronaldo’s flop in the final. But it was also the tournament for one of the greatest World Cup goals ever.
Netherlands vs Argentina. As long-ball football goes, this was made a thing of beauty so take notes Stoke City. Frank De Boer clipped the ball over to the right wing, Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp majestically brought it down with the inside of his right foot. With the same boot he cuts into the penalty box and with the outside of the same boot, rattles it into the top corner.
All the commentator could muster was a reaction of pure amazement and confusion, by repeatedly shouting, “Dennis Bergkamp”.