The new football season is kicking off around Europe and with goals flying in from all angles, there promises to be lots of celebratory somersaults, ripped shirts and elaborate team efforts over the next nine months or so. Though none are likely to be as majestic as this “catch of the day” effort from Icelandic top flight side Stjarman:
We’ve profiled five of the most iconic football celebrations around, and you can even try them out yourself:
- Balotelli’s bodybuilder
- Bale’s heart
- Ronaldo’s roar
- Klinsmann’s dive
- Shearer’s salute
The goals have dried up of late for some-time Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, with just seven in his last two seasons. The former Manchester City star was more prolific earlier in his career, and generally marked his goals with little more than a scowl and the classic understated “non-celebration celebration”. Back in 2012, during the Italy-Germany European Championship semi-final, Super Mario made an exception. After opening the scoring with a bullet header, Balotelli smashed the ball into the top corner of Manuel Neuer’s net from 20 yards to fire the Italians into the final. To celebrate, he tore off his shirt to unleash his ripped torso, launching a thousand Internet memes in the process.
Since his days at White Hart Lane knocking in 25-yarders for Spurs, Bale has marked his goals with a heart symbol, and he continues to do this when firing them in for Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side. So iconic is Bale’s go-to celebration that in 2013 he approached the Intellectual Property Office and trademarked it, as it is estimated to net him £3m per year. Not bad work if you can get it!
Though he wasn’t able to be on the pitch when Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016, the cameras were all on Cristiano Ronaldo on the sideline as his country celebrated winning their first ever international tournament. When he’s banging goals in for Real Madrid, Ronaldo is not subtle in expressing his joy. His signature move is a mid-air twist, then landing with his arms pointing to the floor and unleashing an almighty roar as the stadium erupts around him. He’s not afraid to bare his chest Balotelli-style on occasion, either.
Jürgen Klinsmann arrived at Tottenham in the summer of 1994 as one of the most prolific goalscorers in world football – but also with a reputation for diving. He demonstrated why on his debut in a 4-3 win away at Sheffield Wednesday. After scoring a stunning header past a despairing Kevin Pressman in the Wednesday goal, Klinsmann promptly sprinted over to the Spurs fans and launched into a dive that spawned imitations from schoolboys on playgrounds around the country (and presumably lots of cuts and bruises too…).
Former England captain Alan Shearer scored over 400 goals a career where he started as a trainee Southampton, won the Premier League at Blackburn Rovers and spent a decade leading the line for his beloved Newcastle United. But for all those goals, Big Al had just one celebration: the one-handed salute. As soon as the ball hit the net, Shearer would run away from the scene and get his right arm up in the air showing the palm of his hand to the elation of the crowd, silencing the opposition. Simple, but deadly.