Béla Réthy before his last World Cup appearance
Photo: Robert Michael / dpa
Béla Réthy said goodbye to the spectators with "a few personal" words after his last assignment as a football commentator.
"I tried to support everyone and somehow take everyone with me," he said at the end of the World Cup semi-final between France and Morocco on ZDF.
"I'm glad you liked it, and sorry to those I couldn't reach.
That is not always easy.
In any case, I have to say, dear viewers, it was a great, great honor for me.
Bye and bye.«
Réthy completed the last TV mission on his 66th birthday.
He reported shortly before kick-off that he received a bag of gummy bears "for the circulatory system" from expert Sandro Wagner, who was sitting at his side.
"Béla - it's fun with you, it's a real shame that you're retiring," said the former international after a good 60 minutes of play.
"Thank you, Role Model.
Thank you, legend,” said Wagner after the final whistle.
A few minutes after the end of the game, Réthy was switched to the ZDF TV studio and celebrated with warm words.
His longtime colleague Nils Kaben looked back on Réthy's professional life in a short article.
TV expert and Bundesliga professional Christoph Kramer said: “I do love Béla Réthy a bit”.
Ex-professional Per Mertesacker spontaneously agreed to sing »There is only one Béla Réthy«.
Before the game, Réthy had hoped that Morocco could keep up for a long time, five to six goals and a game without extra time, "so that we can have a good cup of mint tea," as he put it with a wink.
At least the hope of an end to the game after 90 minutes came true.
Réthy remains true to herself
Also in his last game, Réthy commented with his own style.
He hopes that at the next World Cup, the referees will not spend so much time explaining to the players how to behave when it comes to corner kicks.
"It's like being at the tree nursery," he said mockingly in the closing stages of the first half.
Réthy has worked for ZDF at all World Cups since 1986 and as a live reporter at all major tournaments since 1994.
He doesn't have big plans for his future yet, as he told SPIEGEL during the World Cup.
He wants to rent a house in Portugal, buy a bus and drive around Europe.
»Do nothing for now and see when I start to get bored.«