7 Best Goal Celebrations Of All Time

by Chris Balding

After witnessing Michell Antonio’s dirty dancing inspired goal celebration with a cardboard cutout of himself we wanted to look back and choose our favourites goal celebrations of All Time. For this list we are choosing the best one-off goal celebrations and not signature player celebrations like Nani, Robbie Keane, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Tresor Lomana LuaLua although iconic and some of their acrobatics are very impressive.  

Paul Gascoigne (England Vs Scotland Euro 1996)

Gazza was definitely and still is a bit of a maverick who always did things outside the box. The press famously photographed him having drinks poured into his mouth while sitting in a dentist chair on a night out while being part of England’s pre-Euro 96 tour of east Asia. 

When the newspapers came out it caused quite a stir with many of the publications calling for him to be dropped from the squad.  He would have the last laugh though when he scored a brilliant goal against Scotland in the 96 Euro group stage. After he scored he made his way to the touch and lied down in preparation for Teddy Sheringham to squirt water into his mouth recreating the dentist chair. Just one of many reasons we all love Gazza!

Jimmy Bullard (Man City Vs Hull 2009)

Probably better known for his banter than his footballing ability, Bullard was definitely the ‘class clown’ and when he had his chance he never disappointed in the comedy department (probably explains why he has a successful TV career).This was evident when Hull played Man City in 2009.

In their previous fixture against City they got hammered 5-1 and at half time Hull’s manager Phil Brown gave the team a dressing down in the middle of the pitch instead of in the dressing room but this gave Bullard some great material for their next game against City.

In Hull’s next game against City they were down 1-0 but when they were awarded a penalty Bullard stepped up and scored the equaliser and then proceeded to sit the team and wag his finger at them replicating the telling off given to them by Phil Brown. Lucky for Bullard, the manager saw the funny side and admitted “I couldn’t deliver my post-match speech as I was laughing so much. The whole thing was timed to perfection.”

Robbie Fowler (Liverpool Vs Everton 1999)

The prolific goal scorer who is known by Liverpool supporters simply as ‘God’, has been featured many times on Match of the Day for his goals but it was one of his celebrations that stands out in many people’s mind when remembering the Liverpool legend.

During a merseyside derby in 1999, Toffee fans were giving Fowler verbal abuse and accused him of being a cocaine user so when Fowler equalised for Liverpool he ran over to the touch line and simulated snorting cocaine. The FA fined him £32,000 and gave him a 4 match ban, when asked about it today he doesn’t regret it saying “It was a chance to wind them up after all the abuse they’d given me”.

Peter Crouch (England Vs Jamaica 2006)

Famous for saying if he wasn’t a footballer he would be a virgin, the 6ft 7 striker didn’t fit the usual footballer mould.

Crouch started a new dance craze after scoring in a World Cup warm up game against Jamaica when he performed the robot but due to his stature it made quite the impact.

He would only go to perform the robot a couple more times and to celebrate his 100 Premier League goal he did the robot for the last time.

On BBC Radio 5 Live’s ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’, Crouch commented that his famous celebration may never have existed with VAR, “There’s no way I would’ve done the robot. I looked like a complete imbecile anyway, imagine I did it and it was ruled out.”

Emmanuel Adebayor (Man City Vs Arsenal 2009)

When you score against your former club it is expected from you not to celebrate out of respect for your former team, I guess Abedbayor didn’t get the message when City Played Arsenal back in 2009.

After making the move up north in the summer, Arsenal’s fans didn’t appreciate the change of allegiances making their thoughts well known to Adebayor who had to endure abuse and boos all game when Arsenal traveled to the Etihad.

When Adebayor sealed the win for City majority of us thought that justice had been dealt but not in Adebayor’s mind as he proceeded to sprint down to the away fans and defiantly slid on his knees in front of them. You could then see objects being thrown at the now City player which was a great indication that Arsenal supporters weren’t too happy with the gesture.

The FA fined £25,000 and gave him a 3 match ban. He initially said he made a mistake in the post match interview but recently he told The Mirror that “Afterwards, I got told the English FA wanted to give me a nice fine, but even if I would have had to pay €2 million, considering what I went through, I would have still done it,”.

Eric Cantona (Man United Vs Sunderland 1996)

Cantona had an illustrious career full of stand out moments that rightfully earned him the nickname “The King”. He is one of the Premiership all time greats and the goal he scored and celebrated that got him on this list is a clear example of that.

The build up play and finish is all down to Cantona, he starts the play just inside Sunderlands half with his back to their to goal, he then skilfully turns and dribbles past two players at pace and plays a one-two with Brian McClair and as he gets the ball back now in Sunderland’s box he calmly chips the goalkeeper. As the fans erupted, Cantona chest puffed out and collar up simply took in the atmosphere, slowly turning to soak up all the applause, very similar to a Matador. 

Mario Balotelli (Man United Vs Man City 2011)

There seems to be a common theme as all the players chosen are all one of a kind and did things differently to their counterparts. The next footballer on the list is no exception to the rule.

Mario Balotelli had bags of ability but his time off the pitch often overshadowed his quality. Without telling a little back story then the celebration won’t make much sense.

First he had a camouflaged Bentley that he would drive round Manchester and one time around Christmas he put on a Santa outfit and drove round handing out cash. Another time the emergency services were called to his house because a firework had been set off in his bathroom. His madness wasn’t just limited to outside of football as he famously had a bust up with the then City manager Roberto Mancini at training.

So by now you know he’s a bit of a lunatic.  All these antics landed him in the newspapers most week so when he got on the pitch in the Manchester derby and scored the first goal in a 6-1 thrashing he celebrated his first goal by lifting his shirt above his head to reveal ‘Why always me?. To this day he is somewhat of a cult hero to City fans and one of the greatest characters to grace the premier league. 

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