It is imperative that whichever way you watch a football game, you have a good commentator. How often are we disappointed when a good goal goes in and the commentary is rather underwhelming. After all, each shot, each pass is amplified with the right type of commentary.
If it is a drab affair, then the whole experience is drowned in mediocrity no matter the quality on the pitch. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in your language as well, South American or Arabic commentators are famous for being notoriously excited especially when a goal is scored.
We look back at a number of instances when commentators went a little overboard with their celebrations, if we can call it that, while on the microphone.
#1 Gary Neville – Fernando Torres (Chelsea) vs Barcelona – UEFA Champions League Semi-final 2012
It was a match that somehow saw almost every neutral cheering for Chelsea. This was probably one of the most recent underdog Champions League victories as well.
Roberto di Matteo’s side headed into the match with a 1-0 aggregate lead from the first leg. But as we all know, playing Barcelona at the Nou Camp is another story altogether. The trend continued as Barcelona were bossing the match with a 72% possession and almost carving out a chance whenever they went near the Blues’ goal. Sergio Busquets scored in the 35th minute followed by an Andres Iniesta goal in the 43rd minute.
Things got worse when John Terry saw a red card for a foul on Sanchez in the 37th minute. Barcelona already looked like winners. But two minutes later, Ramires went in and chipped Valdes to get the scores level on aggregate. More than that, Chelsea would go through now on away goals. Barcelona were stumped going into the break.
The second half followed a similar theme with Chelsea literally hanging for their lives. The 49th minute saw Lionel Messi step up to take a penalty which he missed! The Argentine had now failed to score in eight games vs Chelsea and Barcelona had not beaten Chelsea in their last seven attempts. Kryptonite anyone? Chelsea were going through as it is but there were still nervy moments and a lot of Petr Cech saves to keep Barcelona at bay. Cue Gary Neville.
This was probably Gary Neville’s finest moment as a commentator, no matter how well he analyses teams on Monday Night Football. Torres had quite rightly said a week before the match that ‘the best team doesn’t always win’ and how prophetic was that! He was right and with his goal,
Cech launched a ball high up the pitch and Torres gathered it and ran almost a quarter of the field with Carles Puyol trying to play catch up. He then rounded a hapless Valdes and scored. Chelsea went onto the final and Gary Neville certainly had his moment of joy. Quite evidently as well. One can hear the excitement build up in Gary Neville’s voice and then it just goes all crazy, to say the least.
Full-time score – Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea (Agg. 2-3)