Goal celebrations


Everyone loves a unique celebration! Soccernet has compiled the best 10 celebrations from the Premiership. Here at TKTG we select the best from these.

Denis Law (Manchester United 0-1 MANCHESTER CITY, First Division, 1973-74)

Throughout his prolific Old Trafford career, Law became famous for his celebration – one arm raised, finger pointed to the sky – and his manager, Sir Matt Busby, credits him with its popularity. “Before Denis,” he said, “such salutes to the crowd were rare.”

However, his single most famous celebration was, in fact, not a celebration at all. After he was released by Manchester United boss Tommy Docherty in 1973, he returned to Manchester City on a free transfer, and the following April scored the only goal of a derby his former employers had needed to win to have any hope of beating the drop.

“He turned away without the arm up and, for probably the first time, his head down,” his former team-mate George Best wrote in Hard Tackles and Dirty Baths. It proved to be the last contribution of Law’s club career, and the striker would later recall that he had “seldom felt so depressed” as he had after that goal.

Jurgen Klinsmann (Sheffield Wednesday 3-4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, Premier League, 1994-95)

When Germany star Jurgen Klinsmann arrived at Tottenham in the summer of 1994, he was met with a sense of revulsion in England at his perceived gamesmanship, with the Mirror tagging him a “Dive Bomber” and even The Times writing that he is “regarded first and foremost as football’s supreme conman”.

Klinsmann began a swift and efficient charm offensive. At his first press conference, he introduced himself by asking the assembled journalists: “To begin with, I have a question for you… Is there a diving school in London?”

On his Premiership debut, he scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 82nd minute at Hillsborough before throwing himself to the floor. “We thought, ‘Everybody’s going to give him stick for diving’,” team-mate Teddy Sheringham, who suggested the celebration, said. “This was like giving two fingers to them all before they could taunt him.”

It worked superbly, as illustrated by one Guardian writer who had penned a piece in June 1994 entitled “Why I hate Jurgen Klinsmann”. Two months later, he penned a second piece: “Why I love Jurgen Klinsmann.”

Jimmy Bullard (Manchester City 1-1 HULL CITY, Premier League, 2009-10)

On Boxing Day in the 2008-09 season, with Hull’s superb start to life in the top-flight having gone awry, manager Phil Brown famously conducted his half-time team talk on the pitch at Manchester City as he sought to inspire a fightback from 4-0 down. Hull ultimately lost the match 5-1 and midfielder George Boateng later cited it as the point “when all the problems started”.

Relegation was averted, though, and at the same ground the following season, Bullard rescued a point for the Tigers with an 82nd-minute penalty and proceeded to re-enact the scene, sitting his team-mates down and wagging his finger in their direction. Brown saw the funny side. “Great comedy is about timing,” he said. “I couldn’t deliver my post-match speech as I was laughing so much.”

Mario Balotelli (Manchester United 1-6 MANCHESTER CITY, Premier League, 2011-12)

Throughout his early career, it had always been Mario. The Italian’s successes had been forever clouded by a string of often farcical off-field distractions – on the weekend of the derby, there had been reports that he had released fireworks in his bathroom – but his brace to set Manchester City on their way to a famous victory shifted the focus.

After his opener, though, Balotelli had done his bit to keep the sideshow going by unveiling an undershirt bearing the question “Why always me?”. Interpreted as a statement about his persistent presence in the tabloids, the striker afterwards alluded to an alternative explanation for the message: “I did it for many reasons, but I’ll leave it for other people to figure out what it means. I’m sure people can work it out.” They have not.

To read the rest of the best celebrations such as Robbie Fowler’s “inhale celebration and others visit the Soccernet website.

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