Goal celebration

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Ronaldinho celebrating scoring a goal with both arms waving

In association football and ice hockey, a goal celebration is the practice of celebrating the scoring of a goal. The celebration is normally performed by the goalscorer, and may involve 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.

Many unique goal celebrations have been immortalized, such as in a statue (Thierry Henry), advertisements (Ronaldo), postage stamps (Pelé), magazine covers, or in video games: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi among many others are featured in the FIFA series.[1][2][3]


Goal song[edit]

In addition to “Jump” being played, flares sometimes go off at A.C. Milan’s San Siro when a goal is scored.

A goal song or goal celebration music is a piece of music, lasting about 30 to 45 seconds long, that is played in sports like football or ice hockey after a goal is scored. A goal horn sometimes sounds before the song is played, especially in the National Hockey League (NHL).

A well-known goal song is Bellini's "Samba de Janeiro", which is played after each Bolton Wanderers goal when they play at home and was used as the goal song in UEFA Euro 2008. Van Halen’s “Jump” is played every time A.C. Milan scores a goal at the San Siro.[4] "Song 2" by Blur is played at some German and Austrian clubs.[4] In North America, "Rock and Roll (Part Two)" of the Glitter Band is also a popular goal song. When played as a goal song, the fans chant out "Hey!" along with the chorus.

In ice hockey, the use of goal songs is very popular. Prior to 2012, a goal by the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, on home ice, is followed by U2's "Vertigo".[5] The New York Rangers play the song "Slapshot", which was written by Ray Castoldi, the music director at Madison Square Garden. The Chicago Blackhawks play "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis after every home goal.

Donbass Arena, the home ground of Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk, has a tradition of playing music each time home players score goals, with a track corresponding to the nationality of a scorer. For example, "Sabre Dance" by the Armenian Aram Khachaturian was played whenever his compatriot Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored, a song that became very popular in Donetsk due to Mkhitaryan's high goal-scoring rate.[6][7]

Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes is played whenever Australian A-League club Melbourne Victory and Bundesliga club Bayern Munich scores a goal.[8][9][10]

Common celebrations[edit]

Nolito celebrates scoring a goal by running from teammates.
Atlético Madrid players celebrate a goal with a group hug.
Andrew Wiedeman after ripping off his jersey
Neymar, Ramires and André Santos celebrating a goal with a dance
Obafemi Martins celebrating a goal with a backflip
  • A group hug of the players on the pitch with the scorer underneath, or the players jumping on each other’s shoulders.[11]
  • The scorer running to corner flag, standing with one of his hands holding the flagpole while screaming – Gabriel Batistuta’s similar celebration when he played for Fiorentina inspired the design of his life-size bronze statue.[12]
  • The scorer putting an index finger to his lips, as if telling the (opposition) crowd to be quiet – Real Madrid forward Raúl memorably celebrated in this manner when scoring against fierce rivals Barcelona at the Nou Camp in 1999.[13][14]
  • The scorer pretending to fire a machine gun, as done by Gabriel Batistuta and Edinson Cavani.[15]
  • The scorer turning his wrist near his ear, this is usually done while running. It was used many times, if not at all times, by Luca Toni.[16]
  • The scorer diving onto the grass with arms and legs outstretched. This was supposedly first done by Jürgen Klinsmann, shortly after he joined Tottenham Hotspur. Klinsmann was actually performing this goal celebration to satirise his own (in his belief unjustified) reputation for diving to win free-kicks and penalties. It became known as "a Klinsmann".[17]
  • The scorer walking or running away in a nonchalant style with a "cocky" smirk as if to say, "I'm the best, that was easy, etc." An adaptation of this involves the scorer standing still and turning or looking around with said look. This was done by Manchester United striker Eric Cantona, and later by Zlatan Ibrahimović.[18]
  • The scorer kissing the ring finger – as Raúl always did.[19] Married players are saluting to their husbands/wives with this celebration.[20]
  • The scorer sliding on his knees – often done by Didier Drogba.[21]
  • The scorer outstretching both arms and running around changing the angle of arms mimicking an aeroplane. This was made famous by former Brazilian striker Careca and later earned Italian forward Vincenzo Montella his nickname of "little aeroplane" (l'aeroplanino in Italian).[22]
  • The scorer outstretching both arms and running staight. Brazilian striker Ronaldo often celebrated in this manner in his early career – his goal celebration was the basis for Pirelli’s 1998 commercial where he replaced the figure of Christ from the Christ the Redeemer statue while in an Inter Milan strip.[23] Zlatan Ibrahimović, whose idol was Ronaldo, often celebrates with both arms outstretched.[24]
  • The scorer rocking his arms from side to side, as though rocking a baby.[25] This usually signifies that the scorer recently became a parent, whether or not for the first time. It was brought to the world’s attention by Brazilian striker Bebeto (joined by teammates Romário and Mazinho) at the 1994 FIFA World Cup after his quarter-final goal against the Netherlands.[26]
  • The scorer putting the ball underneath their shirt to indicate the pregnancy of a loved one.
  • The scorer sucking his thumb as a tribute to his child(ren) or to signify that scoring a goal is like child's play, over the years this has become a trademark celebration of Roma legend Francesco Totti.[27]
After blessing himself, Lionel Messi often celebrates a goal by pointing a finger on each hand towards the sky in dedication to his late grandmother.[28] Players often point towards the skies to thank God, or recognise someone who has passed.[29]
Zlatan Ibrahimović celebrating with both arms outstretched
Steven Gerrard celebrating by connecting with fans. Players often point, salute or wave to their own fans, while some provoke opposition fans.
  • The scorer pointing towards the skies, either to express gratitude to God or to reference a person who is deceased – Kaká invariably gave thanks.[29]
  • The scorer putting his hands behind his ears as if to listen to the reaction of the crowd more.[30] This is usually done when a player is getting booed during the game and then scores, or if a player returns to score against his former club – as Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku did when he cupped his ears to Everton fans after scoring (they had booed him throughout the game).[30] Rarely, this celebration is aimed at club staff, players or officials for various internal reasons.
  • The scorer exhibiting some kind of dancing after the goal, usually joined in by teammates. The first player gaining worldwide fame with this was probably Cameroon veteran Roger Milla at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, who celebrated all his four goals by dancing around the corner flag.[26] Peter Crouch garnered attention for his robot dances after scoring goals for England.[31] Five South Africa (Bafana Bafana) players performed a memorable Macarena-style dance after scoring the opening goal at the 2010 World Cup.[32] Antoine Griezmann’s ‘Hotline Bling’ goal celebration dance features in a 2016 Puma commercial.[33]
  • The scorer performing some kind of acrobatic routine after the goal. Mexico striker Hugo Sánchez was the first noted exponent of the backflip.[34] Nigerian footballers are well known for performing backflips after they score a goal as well as Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, this includes a very famous one performed by Julius Aghahowa at the 2002 FIFA World Cup after he scored a goal against Sweden.[25] Lomana LuaLua was banned from performing backflips by his then-club Portsmouth after injuring one of his feet during a celebration.[35]
  • The scorer removing his shirt. As of 2004, this is considered Excessive Celebration per FIFA's Laws of the game,[36] and results in a yellow card. Andrés Iniesta was so punished for his celebration in the 2010 World Cup Final.[37]
  • The scorer picking up the ball and running to the centre circle to put the ball down on the spot. It is generally used by teams that are losing and need more goals to win/draw the game in an effort to prevent timewasting.
  • The scorer imitating to shoot with some kind of weapon, either aiming towards the sky or to some other virtual target. Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane once performed a forward roll and finished by mimicking an archer against Saudi Arabia.[38]
  • Teammates congratulating the scorer by kneeling down and pretending to shine his shoe – Ronaldo’s Inter Milan teammates often congratulated him in this manner.[39]
  • Laying in the prostrate position to thank god in sujud, mostly done by muslim players – Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah performs this after a goal.[40]
  • The scorer saluting the crowd – alternatively the scorer mocking the crowd, as Cristiano Ronaldo did twice after scoring against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, in 2012 and 2016, when he gestured to the crowd to “calm down” after he scored.[13]
  • The scorer jumping and punching the air – this celebration features in Pelé’s 1969 Brazilian postage stamp that commemorates his 1,000th career goal.[41] Swedish forward Tomas Brolin often celebrated with a jump-pirouette.[42]
  • The scorer pulling his shirt over his face – often done by Fabrizio Ravanelli.[43]
  • The scorer jumping into the crowd. This is commonly done whenever a very significant goal, such as an injury-time winner, is scored, an example being Troy Deeney's last-minute goal for Watford against Leicester City in 2013, sending Watford to a Wembley Play-Off Final.[44]
  • The scorer running the length of the field. Infamously done by then-Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor against his former club Arsenal in 2009.[45]
  • Some players who have tattoos on their wrists or forearms will often kiss them to show respect to whoever or whatever the tattoo symbolizes. Spanish striker Álvaro Negredo is an example,[46] as is the Uruguayan Luis Suárez.[47]
  • "The Thierry Henry" or "Henrying" was made famous by striker Thierry Henry, who would celebrate by simply propping himself up against the goal post while another hand was on the hip, hinting that he's tired and/or tired of scoring goals, and has a "been there, done that"-type of reaction. This went viral in social networks, using the pose to photoshop Henry into appropriate settings, from propping up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to helping Muhammad Ali with his punching bag.[48]
  • The scorer hitting or kicking the corner flag. Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar kicked the corner flag after scoring the winning penalty against Mexico in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[49][50] Australian midfielder Tim Cahill is famous for his regular celebration of shadow boxing around the corner flag.[51][52]
  • The scorer reacting with their mouth as wide open as possible – the magnitude of Zinedine Zidane’s left foot volleyed winner in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final saw him produce one of his most emotional goal celebrations as he ran towards the touchline with mouth wide open, screaming in delight.[53] Liberian star George Weah had a similar open mouthed expression having run almost the entire length of the field and scored for A.C. Milan in 1996.[54]
  • The scorer blowing a kiss to the crowd (this can be done in a mocking gesture); alternatively, the scorer provoking the crowd by kissing his team badge, or in the case of Barcelona captain Carles Puyol in 2009, kissing his Catalan armband infront of Real Madrid fans.[13]
  • The scorer pointing/waving to their own fans – alternatively, wave in a provocative manner to opposition fans; after scoring against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2009 Liverpool striker Fernando Torres held his hand in the air to fans of arch rivals United, with his ‘five times’ gesture (spread out five fingers) signifying Liverpool’s five Champions League titles (to United’s three).[55]
  • The scorer swinging an arm – Mick Channon celebrated with his trademark windmill (swinging one arm round and round); South Korea’s Park Ji-sung performed a two armed windmill after scoring against Greece at the 2010 World Cup.[56]
  • The scorer kissing the club/national badge on his or her shirt, to show his or her love and loyalty for the club/country; some players have even revelled in kissing the badge of their new team when scoring against their former club, a notable example being Wayne Rooney kissing the Manchester United badge when scoring against his boyhood team Everton.[57]

Memorable celebrations[edit]

Thierry Henry statue outside Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The statue recreates Henry’s fabled celebration where he slid to his knees after a goal for Arsenal against Spurs in November 2002.[58]
  • Pelé’s leap of joy into the arms of teammate Jairzinho in scoring Brazil’s opening goal in the 1970 World Cup Final is regarded as one of the most iconic moments in World Cup history.[59]
  • Italian midfielder Marco Tardelli, after scoring Italy’s second goal against West Germany in the 1982 World Cup Final, sprinted into his own half, shaking his fists against his chest, tears pouring down his face, screaming "goal!" as he shook his head wildly.[26] Often ranked the most iconic celebration in World Cup history, as Tardelli put it, “I was born with that scream inside me, that was just the moment it came out."[60][61] This is also called the "Tardelli's scream" or "l'urlo di Tardelli" in Italian.[62]
  • The 1982 World Cup also saw the usually-quiet Falcão running the pitch screaming with both his hands raised after scoring Brazil's second goal against Italy.[63]
  • At the 1994 World Cup, Diego Maradona of Argentina ran towards one of the sideline cameras shouting with a distorted face and bulging eyes after he scored against Greece. This turned out to be Maradona's last international goal for Argentina; he tested positive for ephedrine and never played for his country again.[26]
  • The Greece team at the 1994 World Cup also saw Finidi George of Nigeria running to the corner flag after scoring, kneeling down and imitating a urinating dog.[26]
  • A memorable choreographed celebration occurred when Paul Gascoigne scored for England against Scotland during Euro 1996. He lay on his back while his teammates grabbed water bottles from the touchline and poured water into his open mouth.[18] 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.[64]
  • After scoring a chipped goal against Sunderland in 1996, Eric Cantona of Manchester United celebrated by standing still, raising his arms aloft, holding his chest out and presenting a blank expression while scanning the crowd.[18][52]
  • Six years after missing a crucial penalty in the shootout of the 1990 World Cup semi-finals against West Germany, England's Stuart Pearce stepped up to take another kick in the Euro 1996 quarter-finals penalty shootout against Spain.[52] He converted his attempt and celebrated with an emotional screaming outburst in front of an ecstatic Wembley crowd.[65]
  • In a 1997 Premier League match between Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle player Temuri Ketsbaia repeatedly and angrily kicked the advertising hoardings at the side of the pitch after ripping off his top and throwing it into the crowd, as well as aggressively pushing away the Newcastle players who tried to hug him in celebration of the goal.[18]
  • Ian Wright was chasing Cliff Bastin's record of 178 goals for Arsenal, and in a Premier League game against Bolton, Wright scored and took off his shirt to reveal a vest underneath with the slogan "Just Done It" (referring to beating the record, and Just Do It, the slogan of Wright's sponsor Nike).[66] Wright had only equalled the record, however, and not beaten it but would score again just five minutes later to break the record and he revealed the vest again, this time correctly.[66]
  • At the 1998 World Cup, Denmark's Brian Laudrup scored the equalizer against Brazil, then ran to the sidelines and lay down on his side leaning his head on his elbow, as if he had been on the beach.[26]
  • One of the most famous celebrations in women's sports history 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 was immortalized on the covers of Time, Newsweek, People and Sports Illustrated.[67]
  • In a Premier League game in 2000, Arsenal striker Thierry Henry scored with a spectacular strike against Manchester United where he flicked the ball up (with his back turned to the goal), swivelled and volleyed in from 30 yards out, before he then ran along the sideline and then shouted "Whassup?", recreating the Budweiser advertisement.[68]
  • In the last minute of the last game of the 2000–01 season, an ecstatic Rivaldo ripped off his jersey and swung it over his head after completing arguably the greatest hat-trick in history with a 20-yard bicycle kick winner against Valencia to qualify Barcelona for the Champions League; the magnitude of the goal saw Barcelona club president Joan Gaspart break with convention in the stadium's VIP box by celebrating wildly next to the Valencia delegation.[69][70]
  • In 2001, Emile Heskey made the putt celebration famous when he "made it five" in England's 5–1 win away in Germany. This was accompanied by the DJ celebration, as seen by many players nowadays.[71]
Alan Shearer’s statue outside St James' Park, Newcastle. It features the prolific Newcastle goalscorer with his usual goal celebration of one arm in the air.
  • At the 2002 World Cup, Nigerian striker Julius Aghahowa performing six consecutive perfect backflips after scoring a goal against Sweden.[34]
  • In the 2002 World Cup, South 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 metres at the 2002 Winter Olympics, allowing American Apolo Ohno to win the gold medal.[26]
  • S.S. Lazio's duo Claudio López and Bernardo Corradi performed a goal dance routine of The Ketchup Song (Aserejé) from pop girl group Las Ketchup.[72]
  • After scoring for Manchester City against Fulham in 2006, Bernardo Corradi ran to the corner flag, followed by teammate Joey Barton. Corradi proceeded to remove the corner flag and "knight" the kneeling Joey Barton.[34]
  • In September 2009, then-Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor played against his old club Arsenal. Arsenal fans had been shouting offensive chants at Adebayor throughout the match, and when he scored a header in the second-half he ran the length of the pitch and slid on his knees in celebration in front of his former supporters.[45]
  • In November 2009, a year after Hull City manager Phil Brown sat his team on the pitch at the City of Manchester Stadium for a half-time dressing-down, Hull players celebrated their equaliser at the same venue by sitting in a circle while scorer Jimmy Bullard wagged his finger at them.[73]
  • In February 2011, Scott Brown celebrated his equalising goal in Celtic's 2–2 draw with Rangers by turning to opposition player El Hadji Diouf with his arms outstretched, giving him a vacant stare as if he was taunting him.[74] The celebration, known as "The Broony", has since become a gesture of affection towards Brown by the Celtic support. He was subsequently booked for the incident, however, as it was viewed by the referee as an attempt to antagonise Diouf.[75]
  • In February 2011, Andrey Arshavin scored the winning goal for Arsenal against Barcelona in the first of two legs for the round of 16 of that season's UEFA Champions League knockout stages. To celebrate the goal, Arshavin lifted up his jersey to reveal a t-shirt with an image of himself performing his normal finger-to-the-lips celebration.[76]
  • After scoring a goal against Manchester United in October 2011, controversy-plagued player Mario Balotelli raised his jersey to reveal an undershirt with the words "Why Always Me?", a celebration which seemingly disputes the accuracy of newspaper reports.[77] He later stated he did it for many reasons, but would "leave it for other people to figure out".[78]
  • On 11 January 2015, A.S. Roma captain Francesco Totti, after scoring against cross-town rivals S.S. Lazio and becoming the derby's joint top scorer, celebrated by taking a selfie.[79]
  • In a La Liga game in April 2017, Lionel Messi celebrated his 93rd minute winner for Barcelona against fierce rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium by taking off his Barcelona shirt and holding it up to incensed Real Madrid fans – with his name and number facing them.[13]
  • In the first leg of the Spanish Super Copa in 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his goal for Real Madrid against fierce rivals Barcelona at the Camp Nou Stadium by removing his shirt and flexing. This was to mock Lionel Messi's celebration in the previous Clasico and incensed the Barcelona fans.
  • Kylian Mbappé’s usual goal celebration – posing with his arms crossed and hands tucked under his armpits – which he again performed after scoring in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, was inspired by his younger brother Ethan who would celebrate in this manner when beating Kylian at FIFA.[80][81]


Giorgos Katidis was fined €50,000 and banned for life from representing Greece after he celebrated scoring a goal with a Nazi salute
Paolo Di Canio was suspended and fined after celebrating a goal with a fascist salute while playing for S.S. Lazio
Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated his goal at the 2018 World Cup by making an eagle gesture, a symbol of ethnic Albanians, towards Serbian fans.

According to the rules of the games (Law 12):

While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive.[82]

In recent seasons, FIFA have attempted to crack down on some of the more enthusiastic celebrations. If a player incites the crowd and/or takes his shirt off or puts the ball under his/her shirt to indicate a pregnancy after scoring a goal, he/she is likely to get booked by the referee. This can cause huge controversy if the player has already been booked, since he would then be sent off. 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. Some players were receiving fines for dropping their shorts after scoring.

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).[82]

Players might be also fined for revealing T-shirts which contain some kind of message directed to the spectators. Notable examples include Robbie Fowler being fined for showing a T-shirt that was designed to show support for the Liverpool dockers' strike, incorporating the Calvin Klein "CK" into the word doCKer;[83] and Thierry Henry, who was fined by UEFA after he removed his Arsenal shirt to reveal a T-shirt reading "For the new-born Kyd", which was directed to his friend, Texas lead singer Sharleen Spiteri, who had just given birth. In 1999, Fowler was also fined £60,000 by his club and the 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".[52]

In January 1998, Rangers midfielder Paul Gascoigne courted serious controversy during a goal celebration where he mimed playing a flute (symbolic of the flute-playing of Loyalist Orange Order marchers) during a game against Celtic at Celtic Park.[84][85] The gesture infuriated Celtic fans who had been taunting him and Gascoigne was fined £20,000 by Rangers after the incident.[86] He also received a death threat from an Irish Republican Army (IRA) member following the incident.[86]

Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez was sent off for imitating a chicken when celebrating a goal against arch-rivals River Plate during the 2004 Copa Libertadores, clearly mocking the opposition crowd, with River called 'Gallinas' ('chickens') by other fans for choking late on.[87]

Paolo Di Canio made his mark in 2005, when during his period at Lazio, he made a fascist salute to the right-wing fans. He was fined and suspended as a result.[88]

Ipswich Town player David Norris received a fine after using a handcuff gesture to celebrate scoring against Blackpool in November 2008, dedicating the goal to ex-teammate Luke McCormick, who was jailed for death by dangerous driving.[89][90][91][92] Everton midfielder Tim Cahill received a similar fine for a similar gesture in a match on 2 March 2008.[93][94][95][96] A similar incident took place in Chelsea against Middlesbrough, when Chelsea's Salomon Kalou scored a brace and thereafter crossed hands with Ivorian teammate Didier Drogba. It was later revealed, however, that he claimed to have wanted to try out a new celebration and was not supporting an Ivorian convictionist.[97]

In a 2009 Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal, Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor received a yellow card for running the length of the pitch to celebrate his goal in front of the Arsenal fans. This was seen as controversial because Adebayor signed for Manchester City that summer from Arsenal.[45]

In March 2013, AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis made a Nazi salute towards the crowd after scoring the winning goal against Veria. Though he later insisted he didn't realize the meaning of the gesture, Katidis was fined €50,000, banned from playing for AEK for the remainder of the season, and given a lifetime ban from representing Greece at the international level.[98][99]

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka was banned for five games and fined for celebrating a goal scored in December 2013 with a quenelle. While there was controversy with the gesture being linked to anti-Semitism, Anelka was cleared of being anti-Semitic or endorsing anti-Semitism.[100][101][102][103]

At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Xherdan Shaqiri and fellow Swiss goalscorer Granit Xhaka, who is also of Kosovar descent, celebrated their goals by making an eagle gesture, a symbol of ethnic Albanians, towards Serbian fans.[104][105][106][107] FIFA fined Xhaka and Shaqiri 10,000 Swiss francs "for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play”.[108][109]

Not celebrating a goal[edit]

Refusing to celebrate a goal or undertaking muted goal celebrations is not unknown and not uncommon in football. In the case of the former, it is often seen when a player scores against a former club, especially one where the player began his career and or had his greatest period of success, or where he first made his name.[110] Goalkeepers who score goals via a long kick that is perhaps taken by the wind or evades the opposition goalkeeper upon bouncing on the pitch may not celebrate, as a mark of respect to the opposition goalkeeper.

Muted celebration usually occurs when scoring a consolation goal in a match that is otherwise already lost; celebration may be omitted entirely if there isn't enough time left on the clock and the losing team wants the match to continue as soon as possible. It also occurs when a large number of goals have been scored by one team in a match, and the result has been put beyond doubt; for later goals, celebrations might be reduced or non existent.

In ice-hockey, it is seen as good etiquette not to celebrate a goal made on an empty net where the goaltender has been pulled, due to the vulnerability of the opposing team and the lack of challenge.

Notable non-celebrations[edit]

A club legend for Fiorentina, Gabriel Batistuta was visibly upset when he scored for Roma against his former club in 2000.[111]
Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah has never celebrated after scoring against former clubs, Roma, Fiorentina and Chelsea.[112][113]
Fernando Torres, after scoring against boyhood club Atlético Madrid while playing for Chelsea F.C., refused to celebrate


While unusual and somewhat ironic, a variety of football players have managed to injure themselves during celebration: examples include Paulo Diogo (who severed a finger after it got caught in a fence), Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Fabián Espíndola,[134] (who celebrated a goal that was later disallowed due to offside) and Michy Batshuayi.[135] An Indian footballer, Peter Biaksangzuala, died from a spine injury in 2014 following a failed somersault celebration.[136]

Managers and coaches celebrations[edit]

Managers (and coaching staff) have been known for their exuberant goal celebrations. Some notable celebrations include;

  • On 10 April 1993, Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were losing to Sheffield Wednesday in the Premier League with four minutes of the 90 to go before Steve Bruce equalised. After 7 minutes of injury time – dubbed ‘Fergie Time’, alluding to extra minutes allegedly being granted to Ferguson’s teams to get a goal – Bruce scored the 97th minute winner, with Ferguson running from his dugout on to the touch line, while assistant Brian Kidd ran and leapt on to the field.[137]
  • In the 2004 Champions League last 16 game between Manchester United and Porto, José Mourinho's Porto were on the verge of a defeat when Costinha scored a goal with 30 seconds left of the official 90 minutes to win the tie. Mourinho jumped up from his dugout, fists punching the air as he sprinted down the sideline near to his celebrating players – this dramatic celebration is regarded as the moment when Mourinho announced himself to the game.[138]
  • In the 2009 Champions League semi-final, Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona were losing to Chelsea with minutes remaining before Andrés Iniesta fired in from 20 yards to win the tie. An ecstatic Guardiola uncharacteristically sprinted down the touch line near to where his players were celebrating.[139]
  • At the closing stages of a 2018 Premier League game between Chelsea and Manchester United, former Chelsea manager and current United boss José Mourinho was involved in a tunnel incident. With Chelsea’s Ross Barkley scoring a 96th-minute equaliser, Chelsea coach, Marco Ianni, celebrated by running infront of the Manchester United bench and clenching his fists close to Mourinho’s face.[140] An incensed Mourinho leapt up and attempted to chase Ianni down the tunnel, with security intervening. As he sat back down Chelsea fans repeatedly (and loudly) chanted “fuck off Mourinho”.[141] At full time, Mourinho walked over to United fans and applauded, and on his way back to the tunnel he held up three fingers towards Chelsea fans, reminding them he won three Premier League titles with the club.[140][141]

See also[edit]


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