Univision play-by-play maestro Luis Omar Tapia unleashed “¡Goooooooooool!” three times during Real Madrid’s Champions League match at Manchester City, substantially enriching Friday afternoon.
“Otra vez,” the ebullient Chilean explained as City launched yet another attack. “Vamos a ver,” he said of a strategic Real wrinkle with a we-will-see flair. He had barked “¡Comienza!” to commence the proceedings.
Thursday, in AS Roma’s Europa League Round of 16 second leg at Sevilla, the home side’s danger man was described as “El arcitecto de Sevilla.” Brilliant.
And his trilling of the “R” for the visitors—“¡R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-oma!”— gave the match the exotic machine-gun flourish deserving of late-stage playoff soccer in Europe. Kids, leave that one to the experts.
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The early acquisition of UEFA’s top two club soccer tournaments by CBS Sports, not scheduled to take over for Turner Sports until after 2020-21, assured my patronage of Univision’s TUDN channel. Not just because of the quarterfinals that CBS will only offer on its pay streaming service, but for the principle.
For the panache, class, culture and style that TUDN offers. I often opt for it over an English-language telecast, anyway. Liga MX is not only superior to MLS, so are its Spanish-language broadcasters, their inflections, colorful punctuations and passion.
I tired of the smug, cutesy and oh-so-clever Alexi Lalas long ago, but Taylor Twellman wins the Golden Globe for theatrical indignation. American voices trigger the clicker. Kudos to NBC for keeping British commentators on its wonderful Premiership coverage.
São Paulo broadcaster Rebel Júnior first unleashed ¡Gooooool¡ unto the world’s airwaves in 1942. “Sport’s most famous prolongated vowel,” wrote author Alex Bellos. “ … (it) echoed through history and is now a mark of all Brazilian—and Latin American—radio and television football coverage.”
It spread throughout South America. In Buenos Aires, José María Muñoz added it to his oral arsenal. Andrés Cantor was listening. At 17, he moved to Southern California with his family, studied diligently to become a writer but executed a fateful pivot when a television opportunity presented itself.
On Telemundo in the 1990s, Cantor popularized the ¡Gooooool¡ howl, captivating the U.S. and landing him on David Letterman’s late-night TV show. Telemundo peddles it as a ringtone on its website.
Telemnudo Deportes executive Ray Warren told the Washington Post that Cantor’s stature is transcendent, “across language.”
To The New York Times, Cantor highlighted his ability to switch from Colombian Spanish to Cuban Spanish to Puerto Rican Spanish to Central American Spanish. “But if you get me mad, you will hear my best Argentine accent.”
If soccer sounds better in Spanish, he was asked, what else sounds better in Spanish?
The Champions and Europa semifinals and final will all air on CBS Sports Network, but I’ll be listening to an exceptional Chilean, his talented TUDN colleagues and a call that, 78 years later, still echoes from Brazil.
Guadalajara at Juárez, Total 2.5 Under -110: Two of the more lackluster sides in Liga MX’s Apertura campaign. The visitors can’t find the net, with no goals in three matches. Juárez is 1-0-2, with three total goals. UNDER
Paris Saint-Germain vs Atalanta +205: Personal issues forced striker Josip Iličić to leave Atalanta a month ago, but Colombian forward Luis Muriel is a star. His expected goals-plus-assists ratio of 1.28 tops all active Euro players.
Fellow countryman Duván Zapata is a keen complement. We have zero faith in PSG in this Champions League quarterfinal without injured 21-year-old creator Kylian Mbappé. ATALANTA
Atlético Madrid +130 vs. RB Leipzig: Atlético is 11-0-7 over its past 18 games. In that mix it ousted Premiership heavyweight Liverpool from the CL. Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, 27, has clean sheets in six of his past 10 matches, yielding two goals only once over his past 11 games. Péter Gulácsi, Leipzig’s 30-year-old Hungarian goalie, is not in Oblak’s class for this quarterfinal. ATLÉTICO MADRID
Bayern Munich -120 vs. Barcelona, Total 3 -115: Bayern matches Barça’s Lionel Messi with Robert Lewandowski in this CL quarterfinal, and has Serge Gnabry to fuel its attack. Luis Suárez, you say, for Barcelona? I trump with Thomas Müller and Philippe Coutinho. Plus, Munich keeper Manuel Neuer is better than Marc-André ter Stegen. BAYERN MUNICH and OVER
Lyon vs. Manchester City. Total 3 -115: Since the restart, City is 10-3 with eight clean sheets and a 38-7 scoring edge. Lyon is 4-5 over its past nine. This CL quarterfinal will be lopsided. OVER
Last week: 3-0-1