Sports

No Man Has Ever Been Happier Than This Announcer Reacting to Tuesday’s World Cup Shocker

Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia celebrates with teammates during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Salem al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia celebrates with teammates during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Julian Finney/Getty Images

This right here is why we love the World Cup: It hurts badly to lose, but oh my God, can it make your heart explode if the team repping your country wins. And when your team is one of the worst–ranked in the whole competition, and somehow beats one of the teams favorited to win the cup, well, you might feel like this guy:

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This is Khalil al-Balushi, an Oman national providing commentary for Al-Kass Sports, a Qatari Arabic–language broadcaster, and there’s no way he didn’t lose his voice from this. When the ball bulged out the back of the net he jumped out from his seat: “Allah! Allah! Allah! Allah! Allaaaaaaaaaah!” Salem al-Dawsari, who scored the goal, was running down the pitch with his arms up as his teammates chased him. It launched the entire stadium to the moon.

You don’t need to know Arabic to understand al-Balushi’s sentiment. He’s screaming. His voice goes hoarse. You can hear the tears begin to run and his face turning red. He gasps for air, but the words keep pouring out. It’s an absolute eruption. Even so, when the clip went viral, Reddit user hakoonabatata did us all the courtesy of translating:

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“Write this in history! Write this in history! Write this in history! Here at Lusail stadium! You are making history! What a moment. Insanity in it’s purist definition. I speak from the insides of my heart. With the emotions of my heart. A proud Arab. And with this 2nd goal, a beautiful goal, a majestic goal. YES, impossible is not Saudi Arabia. Impossible is not Saudi Arabia. Impossible is not a word that exists in the Saudi and Arab dictionary. God oh God oh God. Oh god what a game. Oh God what is happening! Salem Aldossari with a thunderous strike. A thunderous strike with all his heart. With all his emotion. With all he has. With all that exists in himself. Yes, Salem oh Salem. Salem oh Salem oh Salem.”

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Saudi Arabia wasn’t supposed to win this match. In fact, it was supposed to be a blowout. Sports Book Wire predicted a 4–0 win for Argentina. The betting odds had a Saudi win at +2000. Now, the Saudis are at the top of their group with three points. Though most sane people expect that lead to evaporate by next week, Saudi Arabia is not letting the moment pass it by: The clips of Saudis celebrating in the streets are everywhere, almost as frequently posted as photos of Lionel Messi looking pissed. Tomorrow is now marked as a national holiday in the country. The win casts doubt on Argentina’s chances to win the whole thing and rewrites the script for the tournament.

For a long time, the Spanish-language commentators were famous for being the most elated over goals. But Arabs have long known that the Arabic-language ones go even harder. When Egyptian Mohamed Salah scored his penalty to edge his county into the last World Cup, he made the announcer literally cry. Al-Balushi speaks for all of us.

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