‘You can go out of Europe’: Iceland commentator savours win over England

• Gudmundur Benediktsson shows emotion after historic victory in Nice
• ‘We are never going home! Never wake me from this amazing dream’

He may have being sacked from his day job on Sunday but Gudmundur Benediktsson probably does not care much now.

After delivering one of the most memorable passages of commentary in Iceland’s victory against Austria last week, Benediktsson was informed by KR Reykjavik that his services were no longer required. But that did not stop the 41-year-old from taking up his position for the last-16 tie against England, with his reaction to what turned out to be Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s winning goal proving just as memorable.

Le Commentateur #ISL nous a ressorti un truc très sympa sur le 2eme but face à l'#Eng #ENGISL #EURO2016 #Sightorsson pic.twitter.com/Kw2RUEOwhg

— salim baungally (@salimbaungally) June 27, 2016

However, that was nothing to what was to come. As Dele Alli mistimed his header from Harry Kane’s corner in injury time and the Slovenian referee Damir Skomina blew the final whistle, Benediktsson once more let his emotions run wild as Iceland’s players celebrated on the pitch.

“This is done! This is done! We are going to Paris! Did you see that! Did you see that! Never wake me from this amazing dream,” he screamed, before appearing to lose his voice as members of the squad poured on to the pitch.

“Boo as you like England! Iceland is going to Stade de France on Sunday. France Iceland! You can go home. You can go out of Europe. You can go wherever the hell you want. England 1 Iceland 2 is the closing score here in Nice. And the fairytale continues.”

“You can leave Europe! You can go wherever the hell you want!”

Icelandic commentator after win. Voice of #Euro2016 pic.twitter.com/7EaLD3kV3t

— Gissur Simonarson CN (@GissiSim) June 27, 2016

But Benediktsson was not the only Icelander to express his emotion on a night that will live long in the memory for the country with a population of just 330,000. Sally Magnusson, the daughter of the former Mastermind host Magnus Magnusson, could not contain her delight. “What makes me so proud of Iceland is the way they did it with good humour and discipline. Playing as a team. Brennivin flowing mightily here,” she wrote on Twitter.


Ed Aarons

The GuardianTramp

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