Goal Celebrations – Rage Or Joy?


Roger Milla’s samba with the corner flag, Peter Crouch’s Robot Dance or Pele leaping into the arms of other players with the biggest grin,  or this goalkeeper’s extraordinary celebration or,  this fan singing and dancing and inspiring a stadium, or perhaps this 19 year old jockey’s unbridled joy as he wins the 2011 Epson Derby* – what’s your favourite celebration?

Some say that the young French jockey’s celebration was dangerous. But surely it was better than ‘Rooney’s Rage’  style celebrations , that we see on TV screens every week as millionaire footballers release  angry tension with roars and aggressive fists (see why do people celebrate with anger?). Where is the joy gone?

Do players forget the fun, excitement and joy of playing in top class competitions? Research into England’s most recent World Cup flop revealed ‘fear of failure’ as the major factor.

Great players do not fear failure. In fact they have, what sports psychologists call, ‘Failure Tolerance’ – they don’t beat themselves up when they make a mistake. They just get on with it as in the case of Martin Palermo who once missed three penalties in one match for Argentina but never gave up and went to score the goal that put them into the last World Cup.

The  former junkie basketball player now coach highlighted last month seems to have it right. He gets kids to enjoy their game first and foremost. Come to think of it, the world’s most successful football/soccer manager, Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson constantly reminds his players to ‘enjoy themselves’.

So come on, let’s get the joyous celebrations back into sport. Share your favourite celebration here by posting a comment. Tell me about your favourite celebration (in any sport).

Thanks to Paul Bowket for alerting me about the unbridled joy of the young French jockey as he comes from nowhere to win the 2011 Derby (*2 mins 30 seconds).

Finally, do not celebrate prematurely, as it can come back and bite you (watch this video).

Tell us your story. Either ‘Leave A Reply’ in the comment box below or select ‘Share Your Moment’ from the panels on the left hand side at the top of the page.

You might also enjoy the ‘Best Sportsmanship Moments World Cup 2014‘ which has some great celebrations.

8 thoughts on “Goal Celebrations – Rage Or Joy?

  1. Careca at the 90 WC in Italy, Milla’s came after…Bebeto and Romario’s baby cradle rock at USA 94′, Maradona’s leap and poit in the air at Mexico 86″, Sunday Oliseh’s 40 yard screamer at USA 94″, Rivelinos “I told you So” at Mexico 70″ and of course Carlos Alberto’s “Captains goal against the Azzurri in the 1970 Final…..All great celebrations that echoe in eternity forever……The worst well……That Swedish dude aat USA 94”..I absoulutely hated it(It was a celebration that is used in NFL football after a field goal is kicked…) Kennet Andersson….Yah thats him….Goal poacher though…!!!
    Next week best world cup goal ever……Maradonas against England, (Mexico86″) Joe Coles against Sweden (Germany06″), Maxi’s effort against Germany (Germany06″) or Van Bastens against USSR (Germany 88″)…..You choose….I know mine….it will forever be Maradona’s first against England……The eternal “Hand of God…!!!!”

    Enjoy Folks…….!!!!

  2. Perhaps it is the people at the top who do not let players celebrate a goal without giving them a yellow card that needs to be addressed. Jumping into the crowd and sharing a special moment with the non-armchair fans is just as special to the palyer as it is to the fans and you do not see much aggression then just joy on peoples faces – why is that so wrong? (Unless it is the opposing fans)

    • I agree entirely Steve. It brings joy to the crowd. I remember Faustino Asprilla after scoring a clinching goal for Newcastle tore off his jersey, hooked it onto the corner flag, and holding it aloft like a flag, made a procession into the crowd. He got booked. Why? Is it time wasting? It was hilarious and lovely for the Newcastle fans. Surely they can stop the watch/clocks. Where are the characters in the game gone? What is the logic of booking a player who takes his shirt off in celebration? I would have thought this might help market the game to a segment of the audience.

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