Offside’s Premier League A-Z: G is for goal celebrations

G is for goal celebrations…

Celebrations come in as many shapes and sizes as the goals and goalscorers that invoke them. From the simplicity of Alan Shearer’s one-armed run off to the masked adventures of Facundo Sava, the Premier League has bared witness to plenty of post-strike shenanigans from those able to trouble the score board.

Mark Leech: Danny Murphy is mobbed after scoring for Fulham.
Mark Leech: Danny Murphy is mobbed after scoring for Fulham.

Sometimes goal celebrations come in a sort of multi-pack offering as a player is mobbed by his team mates. Pile ons are such a common occurrence that it’s surprising that footballers don’t find themselves laid up with minor injuries from the scrums that are formed as they’re smothered by their colleagues, leaping and rushing onto them, often at break neck speeds.

Mark Leech: Rooney celebrates scoring a title-winning penalty in 2011.
Mark Leech: Rooney celebrates scoring a title-winning penalty in 2011.

However, nothing beats the unique, personalised reactions thought up by goalscorers who want to show a bit of flair even after they’ve delivered the football over the line. Daniel Sturridge’s dodgy worm dance is just the latest in a long line of individualist responses to scoring a goal, as Gareth Bale, Tim Cahill, Loman LuaLua, Robbie Keane and Jimmy Bullard show below:

And then there’s the all-time classics that are elegant rather than elaborate. Think Jurgan Klinsmann diving to the floor or losing himself in the moment, Luis Suarez kissing his wrists, or the instinctive taunts Theo Walcott as he was carried off injured.

Marc Atkins: Walcott winds up the Spurs fans.
Marc Atkins: Walcott winds up the Spurs fans.

Sometimes celebrations can be remembered for all the wrong reasons, be it due to offence caused by the body language or actions of a player, or through sheer incompetence.

Marc Atkins: Anelka unfurls the qunelle.
Marc Atkins: Anelka unfurls the qunelle.

 

Nicolas Anelka decided he’d celebrate a goal for West Bromwich Albion with an anti-Semitic salute and tarnish his career in England forever.

Chris Lobina: Forlan struggles to put his jersey back on.
Chris Lobina: Forlan runs off to celebrate bare-chested only to later struggle to put his jersey back on.

Diego Forlan didn’t need disturbing political views and worrying imagery to alienate Premier League fans. The Uruguayan struggled to put his shirt back on after initially removing it to celebrate one of his rare goals for Manchester United.

Who can forget Robbie Fowler’s infamous snorting of the pitch markings against Everton?

Perhaps the best reactions to goals remain the chaotic, unplanned and spontaneous efforts: improvised post-goal creative outlets used that can express relief and excitement in such a wonderfully weird and pure way. Let’s be honest, all those pre-planned, amateur dramatic exercises unleashed by the YouTube stars of Icelandic football grew a bit tired half-way through the second viewing.

Mark Leech: Charlton's Chris Perry yanks Hermann Hreidarsson's boot at the top of the pile.
Mark Leech: Charlton’s Chris Perry yanks Hermann Hreidarsson’s boot at the top of the pile.

Here’s hoping that 2014-15 will offer up plenty of exciting goals and enjoyable celebrations with the arrivals of Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and, in the dug out, Louis van Gaal in the Premier League this coming season.

Offside is the UK’s leading independent sports photography agency, home to an extensive collection of classic First Division and Premier League pictures as well as other images from across the world of sport. Explore Offside’s unique library at www.welloffside.com.

Follow Offside on Twitter at @welloffside.

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Author: gregianjohnson

Football writer for The Blizzard, FourFourTwo, The Mirror, Squawka and VICE amongst others. Follow me on Twitter at @gregianjohnson.

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