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Icelandic commentator Gummi Ben's 'hectic' morning after

Gudmundur Benediktsson, 2 June 2016
Image caption Gudmundur Benediktsson talks to the BBC

Once upon a time, Gudmundur Benediktsson played football for his country.

But the moment that shot him to global fame was not on the field - it was in the commentary box.

Gummi Ben - as he is known - roared out a sustained, high-pitched torrent of joy when his national side scored a last-minute goal against Austria.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Arnor Ingvi Traustason (R) celebrates his winner against Austria in the dying moments of the game

The goal saw Iceland through to the last 16 of Euro 2016 and knocked the Austrians out.

And Gummi Ben's response was so loud, so boisterous, so exuberant, that his commentary has ricocheted around the world.

BBC Sport - Euro 2016

Gummi Ben, who became a commentator after hanging up his boots in 2009, has been fending calls off all day.

"It's been quite strange and actually hectic, because the phone hasn't stopped ringing," he told the BBC.

"But I'm really enjoying it! It's part of the job."


What on Earth was he saying?

Gummi Ben admits he doesn't have a clue what he said when Arnor Yngvi Traustason scored.

And even when his own commentary was played back to him on BBC radio, he still couldn't be quite sure.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAn Icelandic commentator says ‘he didn’t know what he was saying’ during his commentary

But, thanks to Icelandic website The Reykjavik Grapevine, we have a translation. Here is part of it:

"It's three against two. Emmi (Theodor Elmar Bjarnason)! Go into the box! Go into the box! EMMI!"

"Ahhh… YES!…(Emmi passes to Arnor Ingvi Traustason)... Y-E-E-E-S! (ball hits back of the net) Yes, Yes, YES, YES, Y-E-E-E-S!

"We are winning this! We are through to the final 16! We are through to the final 16! We are beating Austria!

"The voice has gone! But that doesn´t matter! We have qualified!

"Arnor Yngvi Traustason scores! Iceland two, Austria one! What? The final whistle has been blown here, and never, ever have I felt so good!"


Iceland's football record

Image copyright EPA

As a nation of 332,529 people (roughly the population of a small UK city), Iceland does not traditionally pack a massive punch on the stage of world football. In fact it has no professional clubs.

But internationally they are on the rise.

Here is how the 21st Century has stacked up for them so far.

Euro 2000 Did not qualify
2002 World Cup Did not qualify
Euro 2004 Did not qualify
2006 World Cup Did not qualify
Euro 2008 Did not qualify
2010 World Cup Did not qualify
Euro 2012 Did not qualify
2014 World Cup Reached the play-offs
Euro 2016 Qualified

To qualify for the Euros, they beat Turkey, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and Latvia. But never have they qualified for an international tournament.

So you can see why Gummi Ben got so excited.

And his unbridled enthusiasm echoed across social media.

Next up, Iceland face England in Nice on Monday. And Gummi Ben will be waiting.

Image copyright @TrueSoccerLife
Image copyright @LiveU_Events
Image copyright @LoHo_

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