Goal celebration

Goal celebration

In football (soccer), a goal celebration is the practice of celebrating the scoring of a goal. The celebration may be performed by the goalscorer (most notably), his or her teammates, the manager or coaching staff and/or the supporters of the team. Whilst referring to the celebration of a goal in general, the term can also be applied to specific actions, such as a player removing his shirt or performing a somersault.


Common Celebrations

* The scorer kissing the club badge on his or her shirt, to show his or her love for the club.

* The scorer diving onto the pitch with arms and legs outstretched. Supposedly first done by Jürgen Klinsmann, shortly after he joined Tottenham. Klinsmann was actually performing this goal celebration to satire his own (in his belief unjustified) reputation for diving to win free-kicks and penalties. It became known as "a Klinsmann".

* The scorer putting a finger to his mouth, as if telling the (opposition) crowd to be quiet. Tuncay Sanli of Middlesbrough does this after scoring a goal. This celebration was also performed by Raúl of Real Madrid against FC Barcelona in the Nou Camp. Russia's Andrei Arshavin did this after both of his goals in Euro 2008.

* The scorer sliding on his knees, made famous by Dragan Mance of Partizan Belgrade. Didier Drogba of Chelsea often celebrates by pumping his arms out by his side before sliding towards the sideline on his knees. Fernando Torres of Liverpool also occasionally celebrates this way; he did so after scoring the winning goal for Spain in the Euro 2008 final.

* The scorer holding their index and middle fingers down, while crossing them with the index finger of the other hand, showing the letter "A". With this celebration a growing number of players in the English Premiership are promoting an organisation known as A-Star, founded by Fitz Hall.

* The scorer outstreching both arms and running around changing the angle of arms mimicking an aeroplane. This was made famous by former Swindon Town and Middlesbrough striker Jan Åge Fjørtoft. This style was also used by the former Israeli striker Alon Mizrahi who was nicknamed "The aeroplane", as well as Vincenzo Montella of AS Roma, and Pedro Miguel Pauleta who was nicknamed the "Açore's eagle".

* The scorer kissing the ring finger. Married players are saluting to their wives with this celebration. The most prominent player to use this celebration is Raúl, others doing the same include Korean international Ahn Jung Hwan, Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool and Frank Lampard of Chelsea.

* The scorer rocking his arms from side to side, as though rocking a baby. This usually signifies that the scorer recently became a parent, whether or not for the first time. This was started by Brazilian striker Bebeto at the 1994 FIFA World Cup after his quarter-final goal against the Netherlands. He was joined by teammates Romário and Mazinho. Andriy Shevchenko of Chelsea was joined by all his team mates to celebrate the birth of Sheva's second son. The celebration was also done by Matt Derbyshire of Blackburn Rovers when he scored the winner against Newcastle to celebrate the birth of his twin boys. The same was performed by Chelsea captain John Terry. Roman Pavlyuchenko of Russia performed this celebration after scoring a penalty against Wales.

* The scorer sucking his thumb as a tribute to his child(ren). Notable players doing this include Robinho of Manchester City, Francesco Totti of A.S. Roma, Luis Garcia of Atletico Madrid and Frederico Chaves Guedes of Olympique Lyonnais.

* The scorer pointing towards the sky, either to thank God or to salute to someone who died. Kaká of AC Milan, who is a devout Christian and attributes his recovery from a potentially crippling injury and a difficult surgical operation to Jesus, uses this celebration. Adriano of Inter Milan raises his hands for God and a salute to his father who died a few years ago. James McFadden, then playing in Everton, celebrated his goal against Middlesbrough following the death of Phil O'Donnell by kissing his black armband and pointing to the sky before appearing to burst into tears.

* The scorer exhibiting some kind of dancing after the goal, usually joined in by teammates. The first player gaining worldwide notoriety with this was probably Cameroonian veteran Roger Milla on the 1990 World Championships, who celebrated all his four goals by dancing around the corner flag. Brazilian midfielder Ronaldinho also occasionally performs some samba dancing after scoring a goal. Former Manchester United footballer Lee Sharpe made famous his Sharpey Shuffle whereby he would do a popstar like dance routine, finishing with kissing his hand and pointing it into the crowd. He also did a celebration involving the corner flags and waving his legs like Elvis. Bas Savage of Brighton & Hove Albion celebrates by performing either the standard moonwalk, the moonwalk 360 or the side glide. This has gained him a regular spot on Soccer AM with the section 'I Wanna be like Bas'. Clint Dempsey occasionally does the "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" dance, from the eponymous video by Dem Franchize Boys. Peter Crouch of Liverpool made the 'Robo-Kop' dance goal celebration very popular a few years ago.

* The scorer performing some kind of acrobatic routine after the goal. The first well-known player to do this was probably Hugo Sánchez of Real Madrid, who always celebrated his goals by performing a backflip in honor to his sister, who was a gymnast and participated in the Montreal Olympic Games. German forward Miroslav Klose does a forward somersault after scoring, which, according to him, is only for the big goals. Obafemi Martins of Newcastle United celebrates by performing a series of somersaults culminating with a backflip. Lomana LuaLua, a former gymnast, is capable of multiple flips and somersaults. Nani of Manchester United celebrates by doing a cartwheel followed by a backwards somersault. Julius Aghahowa of Wigan Athletic sometimes celebrates by doing backflips, doing about seven at a time. Robert Earnshaw of Notts Forest and Wales does a front flip, sometimes followed by a "presentation" gesture.

* The scorer imitating to shoot with some kind of weapon. Robbie Keane of Liverpool celebrates with a round-off into a cartwheel, finishing on knee and mimicking the firing of a rifle or an arrow from a bow after he scores. Walter Pandiani and Andy Van der Meyde, nicknamed "The Rifle", also emulate the firing of a rifle. Former Fiorentina legend and Roma striker Gabriel Batistuta was famous for his 'Machine Gun' celebration where he would get down on one knee and 'shoot' with his fingers as if they were machine guns. Spaniards Dani Güiza of Fenerbahce and Kiko of Atletico Madrid run to the corner flag after scoring, kneel down and imitate shooting towards the sky with a gun. Australians Archie Thompson and Tim Cahill, who went to the same soccer school, celebrate by running to the corner flag, karate punching and kicking it followed by a gun shooting action. At one point in the 2006-07 season, Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidić, and John O'Shea celebrated by kneeling down and pretending to shoot a bazooka, supposedly aimed at Chelsea F.C.. This supposedly started with Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney playing the Playstation 2 game SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs along with Chelsea's John Terry and Frank Lampard at the England national football team camp during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

* Teammates congratulating to the scorer by kneeling down and pretending to shine his shoe. This celebration is often seen from Patrice Evra of Manchester United.

Player or Team "Trademark" Celebrations

* Diego Maradona of Argentina is remembered for performing his "Maradona Jump" where he jumped up with both legs bent and pumped his fist to the sky.

* Juventus striker Fabrizio Ravanelli's signature celebration was pulling his shirt over his head and running around the field. Another world class player seen frequently celebrating this way was Ivan Zamorano of Real Madrid.

* Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer always celebrated by raising his right hand with palm open.

* Alessandro Del Piero, Juventus' current captain often celebrates a goal by showing his tongue to supporters in a childish manner.

* Steven Gerrard of Liverpool FC often puts both hands over his shoulders pointing to his name at opposing crowds.

* Arsenal legend Robert Pires slowly jogs around the pitch, whilst waving his right index finger in a "I told you so" fashion. Brazilian striker Ronaldo also celebrates in this way.

* Alberto Gilardino of Fiorentina pretends to play a violin on one knee.

* Luca Toni of Bayern Munich always celebrates by stretching his fingers and waving his hand next to his right ear, and then closing the same hand into a fist and throwing it in the air.

* Ronaldinho often celebrates by sticking out his little finger and his thumb on both hands and shaking them.

* Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea and Aiyegbeni Yakubu of Everton celebrate by making a butterfly with their hands.

* Bafetimbi Gomis of AS Saint-Etienne celebrates his goals imitating a panther, and the name of the animal became his nickname.

* Marama Vahirua of OGC Nice paddles, remembering his Tahitian origins.

* Albanian-born Finnish striker Shefki Kuqi jumps with arms open wide in the air and then falls down in the grass, landing heavily.

* Leeds United duo Jermaine Beckford and Trésor Kandol celebrate by imitating throwing a basketball into a hoop when one or the other scores.

* Mexican international Cuauhtémoc Blanco poses as an Aztec warrior.

* Mark Bresciano of Palermo and Australia freezes and mimics a statue.

* Manchester United's striker Carlos Tévez sucks a pacifier in his mouth.

* The 1990s Chelsea team sometimes gathered around Dennis Wise as if posing for a team photo.

* The Aylesbury United team, nicknamed The Ducks, go down on their knees, and waddle in a line, with their elbows flapping.

Memorable Celebrations

* Arguably the most memorable goal celebration came from Italian midfielder Marco Tardelli after scoring Italy's second goal against West Germany in the 1982 World Cup final. With tears in his eyes, he sprinted into his own half, fists beating against his chest, tears pouring down his face, screaming his name as he shook his head wildly. This is also called the "Tardelli cry".

* The 1982 World Cup also saw the usually quiet Falcão ran the pitch screaming with both his hands raised after scoring Brazil's second goal against Italy.

* A memorable choreographed celebration came when Paul Gascoigne scored against Scotland during the Euro 96 championships. He lay on his back while his teammates grabbed water bottles from the touchline and poured water into his open mouth. This celebration mimicked a controversial pre-tournament incident when England players were photographed in a nightclub, sitting in a dentist's chair having alcoholic drinks poured down their throats.

* Eric Cantona is remembered by many football fans for his celebration he did against Sunderland. After chipping the goalkeeper following a great solo effort, he just stood still, stuck out his chest and looked into the crowd.

* Another famous celebration, especially in the United States, is the shirt-stripping moment by American Brandi Chastain after she converted the winning penalty in the 1999 Women's World Cup final against China. The image of Chastain with her shirt off and revealing her bare stomach and her sports bra, immortalized on the covers of Time, Newsweek, People, and Sports Illustrated, is one of the most famous in women's sports history.

* In 2001 during England's 5-1 rout of Germany, Emile Heskey put in England's fifth goal and celebrated by simulating a golfer hitting a putt. This celebration was indicative of how easily England demolished Germany on that day.

* In the 2002 World Cup Korean forward Ahn Jung-Hwan imitated a speed skater after tying the game against the United States, in reference to the controversial disqualification of Korean short track speed skater Kim Dong-Sung in the 1500 m at the 2002 Winter Olympics, allowing American Apolo Anton Ohno to win the gold medal.

* Whilst playing for Liverpool FC, Craig Bellamy celebrated his goal against Barcelona, simulating a golf swing, due to media speculation into a fight between him and teammate, John Arne Riise, at a karaoke night near their training ground in Portugal, where he allegedly tried to hit Riise with a golf club.

* Following the death of professional wrestler Eddie Guerrero in 2005, Middlesbrough's James Morrison emulated his signature chest-slapping and shoulder-shaking taunt, as well as John Cena's "You can't see me" hand gesture.

* In the 2006 World Cup Italian Fabio Grosso did his best Tardelli impression after scoring against Germany in the semi-final. With tears in his eyes, he ran into his own half waving his finger shouting "I Don't Believe It".

* Rangers F.C. striker Kris Boyd held his finger up to his nose in imitation of his recent moustache in the 2008 Scottish Cup final. This was revealed to be a reference to a bet made with teammates prior to the game.


In recent seasons, The Football Association have tried to crack down on some of the more enthusiastic celebrations in the FA Premier League. If a player incites the crowd and/or takes his shirt off after scoring a goal he is likely to get booked by the referee (e.g., Bastian Schweinsteiger during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Marlon Harewood for West Ham after scoring in the 2006 FA Cup Semi-Final against Boro, and Carlos Alberto Gomes during the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final). This can cause huge controversy if the player has already been booked, since he would then be sent off. Carlos Tevez for Boca Juniors was even sent off when celebrating a goal against archrivals River Plate during 2004 Copa Libertadores, imitating a chicken, clearly mocking the opposite crowd, in spite of not being booked previously. Similarly, in American women's soccer at school and collegiate levels, the practice of taking the shirt off to celebrate a goal (made popular by Brandi Chastain), has been prohibited. However, some players get around this rule by pulling the hem of their shirts over the head, without taking the shirt off entirely, but this is not always overturned by the referees as shown by Italian Stefano Farina, referee of the 28th October, 2006 famous Milan Derby which Inter won 4-3 away in San Siro, he gave Marco Materazzi a second booking and thus a red card for doing that exact act after Materazzi gave Inter a 4-1 lead over Milan.

Jumping into the crowd is also a bookable offence ("deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee's permission", as identified in Law 12), one which caused Arjen Robben to be sent off in a Premier League match in 2006. Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack were both shown yellow cards after they jumped into the crowd to celebrate their goals for Chelsea against Portsmouth in the 2006-07 season. Carlos Tevez also got booked when he dived into the crowd in a Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, actually he also removed his shirt which should have warranted another yellow card, however he was only given a single booking and thus not sent off.

In 1999 former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler was fined £60,000 by his club and the FA Premier League for having celebrated his penalty goal against Everton by getting down on all fours and miming the snorting of cocaine off of the white touchline. Although it was seen as Fowler's response to being accused of drug abuse in the tabloid press, then-manager Gérard Houllier famously claimed that he was merely imitating "a cow eating grass" which, Houllier claimed, teammate Rigobert Song had regularly joked about in training.

Thierry Henry was fined a sum of money by UEFA after he removed his Arsenal shirt to reveal a T-shirt reading "To the new-born Kyd". This was a comment directed to his friend Texas lead singer Sharleen Spiteri who had just given birth.

Italy and A.C. Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso achieved a fair amount of notoriety for his post-match goal celebration during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. After Italy won the final against France, he ran around the pitch pantless until FIFA officials forced him to cover up.

ee also

*Football culture

External links

* [http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/060516/1/6swq.html Celebrating in style - FIFAworldcup.com]
* [http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2006560435,00.html Manchester United's Rocket Launcher Celebrations]

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