Goals are the peak of euphoria in any football match since they ultimately decide the outcome. The crowds go wild, the players go bonkers. As a football fan, it is truly what we live for.
Amongst all the celebrations, actions tend to go overboard and feature excessive acts of celebration. You may wonder why players do this.
Here is what you need to know about why players celebrate so much after a goal:
Why do footballers celebrate so much?
Footballers celebrate excessively due to the importance of the goal, to the team and themselves. Most times, when a crucial goal is scored, emotions run wild and the players let all loose while basking in the joyousness.
Here are some of the reasons why footballers celebrate so much:
#1 Last-minute deciders
In a football match where the chips are down until the last minute, a goal to achieve the team’s desired result is outstandingly appreciated and of course, wildly celebrated.
Whatever the result may be, the goal that achieves it is seen as a precious piece of history. You may have witnessed your team score a last-minute goal to clinch a title, secure qualification, or even avoid relegation.
The overwhelming joy mixed with satisfaction and relief yields an incredible round of celebrations.
Manchester City’s first ever Premier League title was captured by one of the most thrilling moments ever. The Blues headed into the final matchday in contention for the title with only a superior goal advantage over the cross-town rivals, Manchester United.
QPR stood at the end of the tunnel, and a win at home was needed to guarantee the title. However, the ‘easy clincher’ game did not go as planned and Manchester City found the title slipping away with QPR leading the hosts by 2-1.
Edin Dzeko’s late equalizer gave some hope but Manchester City needed a win. Breaths were held until the 94th minute when Sergio Aguero created space in the box and found the back of the net: a moment that immortalized the Argentine striker forever.
The city faithfuls went wild, they were champions of Europe for the first time in 40 years!
In fact, Aguero was booked for taking off his shirt, which you can find out more about this interesting rule here.
#2 Comeback Victory
During a football match where your team is on the back foot, players require great mentality and determination to pull themselves back into the game.
Goals scored under these circumstances are very appreciated when the team is on the verge of elimination from a tournament or at the risk of losing their place in the league.
A goal scored to achieve the comeback will invoke the deepest emotions and make everyone go wild. Fans and players alike express the joy by celebrating excessively.
In the 2014 Champions League final, Atletico Madrid led most of the contest with a 1-0 advantage over cross-town rivals, Real Madrid. History would forever remember the injury time header from Sergio Ramos which brought Real Madrid level.
Madridistas went into a frenzy and Atletico hearts were broken. The match would then go into extra-time where Los Blancos scored three more goals to clinch the fabled and long-awaited La Decima in an iconic 4-1 win.
You can find out more about comeback victories here.
#3 Career milestone
A player may hit a milestone with their goal which causes them to celebrate excessively. In an occurrence where a player breaks a long–standing record or makes a record of their own, they tend to go wild, and the stadium crowd follows suit.
Depending on the context, the goal may be important to the player himself or his team.
South Africa became Africa’s only nation to host the World Cup in the 2010 edition. During the tournament’s first game between the host nation & Mexico, Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the country’s the competition’s opening goal.
Tshabalala and his teammates choreographed an iconic dance celebration while the entire stadium went into a frenzy. Although South Africa did not progress past the group stage, the goal remains one of the tournament’s most memorable moments.
There was another incident during this match, where Vela’s goal was controversially ruled offside. You can find out more about this case here.
#4 Wonder Goals
In football matches, when a player scores a banger of a worldie, there is no doubt that he will flip out in the celebrations. Even the fans are utterly impressed by these sort of goals, they also go wild with the player.
Adrenaline is a major factor here, the player is usually pumped up after executing a usually impossible move and goes into a frenzy.
The Round of 16 clash between Argentina & France produced many fantastic moments. France fell behind in the contest with goals from Mercado & Aguero putting the Argentines in a 2-1 lead.
Just then, the ball found its way to Benjamin Pavard’s feet and the Frenchman delivered a fantastic half-volley to put his country level. The match eventually ended in a 4-3 victory for France, who eventually won the tournament.
Pavard’s wonder strike was voted the World Cup goal of the tournament.
#5 Title winners
As far as important goals go, there are few goals as worthy of intense celebrations as a title winner. Goals scored in a tournament final (e.g. World Cup, Champions league & domestic cup) or even the final matchday of the league warrants wild celebrations.
In this case, every goal scored takes the team closer to clinching the title.
The 2010 World Cup final was a heated contest between Spain and The Netherlands. Both countries were looking to clinch their first ever global title.
After 90 minutes of tense regular time, the match went into extra time. In the 116th minute, Andres Iniesta stepped up to strike home the most memorable goal in Spanish history which delivered their premier World Cup triumph.
You can find out more about why the World Cup is so popular here.
Scoring against rivals
Football rivalries showcase the extreme end of football passion. There are many popular and intense rivalries from around the world, including:
- El Clásico – Real Madrid & Barcelona
- Derby Della Madonnina (Milan Derby) – AC Milan & Inter Milan
- El Derbi Madrileno (Madrid Derby) – Real Madrid & Atletico Madrid
- North London Derby – Tottenham Hotspur & Arsenal
- Manchester Derby – Manchester United and Manchester City
- Old Firm Derby – Rangers & Celtic
- Superclasico – Boca Juniors & River Plate
- Der Klassiker – Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund
Such rivalries breed deep resentments and electrifying atmospheres. Like a popular quote from Peter Drury: “they anticipate it for days, remember it for decades”; depending on the outcome of such a match, bitter or sweet memories may be formed.
When a player scores against a bitter rival, the celebrations tend to be excessive.
As one of the most intense rivalries in the world, the Milan Derby has a long and interesting history. Especially since both clubs share the same stadium, the derby is always hosted by an intense atmosphere.
Back in 2012, AC Milan were on course to win the league being one point behind Juventus. On the other hand, Inter Milan had endured a difficult season sitting at 6th.
The upcoming derby had no consequences for Inter, but AC Milan had a title on the line. When the day came, Inter Milan not only soiled their rival’s party but sealed it in great fashion with Maicon’s fantastic goal and passionate celebrations.
Just like fans, players can either admire or despise the opposition team. This may be due to sentimental reasons and when such a player scores against a team they have a grudge against, it is unlikely they hold back on the celebrations.
In the 2009/10 Premier League season, Emmanuel Adebayor scored for Manchester City in a 4-2 win over his former club, Arsenal. After scoring, the Togolese striker made the extra effort to sprint across the field and celebrate directly in front of the traveling Arsenal fans.
Adebayor later explained that the celebration was due to the racial abuse he suffered during the match from Arsenal fans aggrieved about his departure. The FA authorities found him guilty of improper conduct and fined him £25,000 afterwards.
Celebrations are probably the longest standing tradition in football and will continually roll in passion forever. Football is a game of passion, which motivates the players to score goals and celebrate afterwards.
These types of celebrations can be caused by several factors. Moreover, fans relentlessly fuel these celebrations and even take a great part in them.
You can find out why footballers don’t celebrate against their former clubs here.
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