Photo: Telemundo / Courtesy
Sportswriters are important when their job is to conduct the actions of events with knowledge, good judgment and emotion, especially in the crucial moments of major competitions. Andrés Cantor’s account of the final of the last World Cup in Qatar will accompany the memories of millions of people who lived through it in the United States through Telemundo.
When Gonzalo Montiel, defender of the Argentine national team, converted the decisive penalty that gave his country the World Cup on December 18 at the Lusail stadium in Qatar, the emotions of Andrés Cantor, the distinguished Argentine narrator, simply overflowed
“A day of too strong emotions comes to mind,” recalls Cantor about that night in Doha in which he had to be the voice of an epic and unforgettable final won by the Albiceleste on penalties after a heartfelt 3-3 draw. “Everything was calm until the 79th minute and then the hearts had many ups and downs.”
In a talk with La Opinión almost two months after that day that he considers “one of the most beautiful” of his life, Cantor comments on how he lived it, if his emotion was exaggerated and why he cried in full story.
But first, the memory of that epic goal cry from the man who has made a distinguished career in America’s media doing just that: shouting goals.
“The truth is that it was destroyed,” Cantor reveals about those climactic moments after the battle between the Argentines and the French which lasted for more than 120 minutes. There is a consensus that it has been the best final of a FIFA men’s World Cup.
With the score 3-3 late in the second extra period, France had a chance to score their two-time championship goal in the dying moments, but controversial goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez made the saving grace after Kolo Muani’s shot. Eventually, that move allowed the Albiceleste to win their third World Cup after 1978 and 1986.
This is how Cantor lived it: “I am absolutely destroyed inside because I felt that Argentina was escaping and in those two seconds that the ball bounced and landed at the feet of a player [francés] I’m processing how I’m going to shout the longest goal of all the ones I shouted in the World Cup, because it was going to be the consecration of France being two-time world champion”.
Minutes later, Montiel’s shot came for the Argentine coronation.
“I knew that if Montiel scored, Argentina would be champion, but I had to manage my emotions well because if he missed, France had one more chance,” says Cantor. “When Montiel converted, absolutely everything was released… I needed someone to hug me with”.
At that moment, Cantor was trying to hold down Claudio Borghi, who was sitting next to him as an analyst on the broadcast. The former Argentine national team and world champion in 1986 at one point comforts Cantor, who kept talking in tears.
“What the people saw is the real Andrés Cantor. I was overcome by emotions, I know, but I think I had the freedom to do it because ultimately my country ended up being the world champion”, acknowledges the chronicler who is synonymous with soccer in the United States and who even has appeared on the simpsons.
Cantor laments for those who took offense
His narration was to remember, but it is also true that many fans who were not with Argentina in the World Cup criticized Cantor on social networks for the way he got so excited while on the air.
“I would be the number one hypocrite if I don’t want Argentina to be the world champion,” says Cantor when asked if it is valid to get to the point of “putting on your country’s shirt” in a broadcast. “I don’t think I disrespected anyone, I was very genuine and if I took that license to release emotions and show a 59-year-old man crying on national television, well, I’m sorry for those who could have been offended, but I think to have been professional enough throughout the 123 minutes and at the time of the definition of penalties in the analysis of the game”.
Cantor clarifies that he regrets absolutely nothing in this narration, and points out: “I was preparing myself mentally to shout the goal that surely would have gone viral because of the opposite of what this one went viral: an Argentine shouting Kolo Muani’s goal for 45 seconds having consecrated France champion of the world”.
Looking to the future, Andrés Cantor is already excited about the 2026 World Cup that will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada, where the Telemundo communicator guarantees that the record for tickets sold will be broken: “The fight for the tickets will be, uuuuuhhh, brutal.”
“The 2026 World Cup will be very special because it will be the return home,” he adds about the expectation of being the main narrator again (Telemundo has the rights to the event). “Let’s say my career has a before and after what happened in ’94 due to the fact that it was played here in the United States, and now it’s coming back home and we hope to be there.”
Andrés Cantor, that reader of the newspaper La Opinión
To an express question about the days when he lived in Los Angeles, where he studied and took important steps in his journalistic career, Andrés Cantor reveals that he was a faithful reader of the newspaper La Opinión.
“For me growing up in Los Angeles, La Opinión was the bible of sports. There was no internet, there was no way to find out about football news. I got up and I think it cost $25 cents at the time I bought it, and the first thing I did was take out the Sports section,” recalls the chronicler, who later Already as a communicator, he met prominent journalists from La Opinión such as Rigo Cervantez, Fernando Páramo and Chiquilín García in local football, boxing and other sports coverage..
“That time was very beautiful, very different from the one we live in today because obviously there are other ways to get information almost instantly. At that time we got up early, we were going to look for La Opinión to find out what was happening in the city [de Los Ángeles] and in the world of football and sports”.
– Andrés Cantor receives the 2020 Colin Jose Media Award from the US Soccer Hall of Fame.
– A talk with Enrique “Perro” Bermúdez: he talks about his goodbye to the World Cups after narrating 12
– They reveal the cause of the sudden death of journalist Grant Wahl in the middle of the Qatar 2022 game