Jewish Athlete of the Month

June 2018 – Andrés Cantor – Futbol Media Icon

While Andrés Cantor did not invent the outrageously long call for a score in soccer, he clearly popularized his ubiquitous “Goooooooooooaaaaaal!” which follows every successful strike during any game which he covers.

Cantor was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both of his parents’ families had migrated to the South American country when fleeing rising anti-Semitism in Europe.  His mother’s family emigrated from Romania when his mother was 13 years old.  His father was born in Argentina after the family fled Poland during the Nazi occupation.

By the mid-1970s, Cantor’s parents moved with their children to the United States after deciding they’d had enough of Argentina’s then-dictatorial government.  He learned English as a teen (which was not easy), and he eventually graduated from USC. Like many Jewish parents, Dr. David Cantor, a gastroenterologist, felt a twinge of disappointment when his children decided not to pursue careers in medicine.  But his wife, Alicia—a psychologist—told him not to worry. “She said, ‘Let the kids do what they want to do so they can be happy.’ ” For his son, Andrés, that meant writing about—and eventually broadcasting—soccer.

Cantor’s love of soccer is traced back to his childhood in Argentina, where he religiously listened to games on the radio.  The broadcasters, he remembers, were never afraid to let loose—especially when someone scored, and it would stick with him as he developed as a broadcaster. “That’s the way I grew up listening to goals,” said Cantor. “It was nothing new.”

Cantor was the first to introduce his now ubiquitous scoring call to a US audience while working at Univision, making him very popular with American audiences.  He debuted it at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, but it became popular during the 1994 World Cup, which was held in the USA.  “We make it a little more lively than English-language broadcasts, which are a little more subdued,” said Cantor. “But it’s just a matter of style. One isn’t better than the other.” “It’s nothing that I invented,” said Cantor, who’s since starred in a Geico ad and made a cameo in the movie version of Speed Racer. “I just helped popularize it.”

Over the course of his career, Cantor has been recognized for his achievements in sports broadcasting with 5 Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television and Arts and Sciences.  The most recent award came in 2014, when he received an Emmy at the 35th annual Sports Emmy Awards for best on-air personality in Spanish.  FIFA Magazine named Cantor as one of the world’s most legendary broadcasters.

Cantor, who is now 55, will once again lead Telemundo’s coverage at the 2018 World Cup starting this month in Russia.

At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Andrés Cantor will be joined by his son, Nico, also a sportscaster and sports journalist.  Nico Cantor told the Washington Post, “I try to find my own voice.”