The most iconic Premier League goal celebrations ever
Remember the Premier League? Remember goals? Remember goal celebrations?
Since we do not have any football to enjoy at the moment, we thought we would look at 20 classic Premier League goal celebrations.
Have a look and choose your favourite at the bottom.
The regular celebrations
Nearly every Robbie Keane goal was met with the same celebration – a cartwheel, a forward roll and then pretending his fingers were guns. Not Olympic standard gymnastics but comforting and familiar like a nice dollop of mashed potatoes.
Ravanelli’s shirt over his head
It’s no exaggeration to say this moment changed the way goals were celebrated in England for a while. In August 1996, Fabrizio Ravanelli scored a hat-trick on his Premier League debut as Middlesbrough drew with Liverpool and lifted his shirt over his head. Everyone seemed to celebrate that way – in professional matches and on schoolyards – afterwards, although Fifa making it a bookable offence reduced that fad.
Nowhere near as good as Robbie Keane at football – but a much, much better gymnast. DR Congo’s Lomano LuaLua would do as many as seven backflips after scoring for Newcastle or Portsmouth in the Premier League.
Fulham striker Facundo Sava would celebrate each goal by pulling out a black Zorro mask from his shin pads and putting it on his face. Sadly for Fulham fans the Argentine only needed the mask six times in the Premier League in 2002 and 2003. He had 250 masks in Argentina but only brought one to England.
The Shearer classic
Running away with his right arm in the air. That’s it. That’s the celebration.
Daniel Sturridge often marked his goals with a dance involving wriggling his arms. It wasn’t great.
The topical celebrations
Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann came to England with a reputation for diving and marked a goal on his Tottenham debut – a 4-3 win over Sheffield Wednesday in August 1994 – with an exaggerated dive onto the ground as part of his celebration, as a self-deprecating – and successful – way of getting the fans on board.
Wright and Ruddock mimic Di Canio incident
Ian Wright and Neil Ruddock recreated an iconic Premier League moment when Wright headed home the only goal in West Ham’s win over Southampton in September 1998. It came two days after Sheffield Wednesday’s Paolo di Canio had been sent off for Sheffield Wednesday and shoved over referee Paul Alcock. Wright pretended to show Ruddock a red card and the defender shoved him over, with Wright even mimicking Alcock’s fall. Funnily enough Di Canio joined West Ham three months later.
Fowler sniffs the line
One of the more controversial celebrations on this list. Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler had been getting abuse from Everton fans – unfounded taunts of taking drugs – during the Merseyside derby in April 1999. After scoring, he got down on all fours and sniffed the white line of the penalty area. He was fined two weeks’ wages by Liverpool and received a four-game ban from the FA. Manager Gerard Houllier claimed it was a grass-eating celebration he had picked up from Rigobert Song but nobody was buying that one.
Bullard’s team talk
Maybe the most meticulously choreographed goal in our list. In 2008, Hull City manager Phil Brown made headlines when he gave his players a half-time team talk on the pitch as they trailed 4-0 to Manchester City. A year later when Jimmy Bullard scored to make it 1-1 against the same opposition, Hull’s players sat around Bullard while he pretended to give them a team talk. Brown said afterwards it was a “fantastic celebration”, although Bullard revealed years later his manager told him to “wind his neck in” in the dressing room afterwards.
Balotelli’s ‘why always me?’
Mario Balotelli’s bathroom was set alight after a firework was launched in his house in October 2011, two days before the Manchester derby. Balotelli scored the opener in City’s 6-1 win at Old Trafford and lifted up his jersey to reveal a t-shirt asking ‘Why always me?’. Probably because you’re always doing mad stuff, Mario.
Another diving celebration. In the build-up to the Merseyside derby in October 2012, Everton boss David Moyes heavily criticised Luis Suarez for what he said was a dive to get Jack Rodwell sent off the previous year. Suarez scored… and proceeded to dive right in front of Moyes to celebrate.
‘Old man’ Eto’o
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was caught on camera suggesting his striker Samuel Eto’o was 35 instead of 32 – although he claimed he was joking. When Eto’o scored the opener in a 4-0 win over Tottenham in March 2014 – a couple of weeks later – he held the corner flag and his back pretending to be an old man. Mourinho said he found the celebration funny.
One Sunday in March 2015 a clip emerged of Wayne Rooney and Phil Bardsley boxing in a kitchen with Rooney appearing to be knocked unconscious. Later that day after scoring in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Tottenham, he threw a few punches at the air before collapsing dramatically for his celebration.
The wild celebrations
Ketsbaia goes berserk
A celebration so iconic it’s the main thing Temuri Ketsbaia is known for in England. After scoring a last-minute winner for Newcastle against Bolton in January 1998, the Georgian threw his shirt into the crowd and tried to take his boots off before repeatedly kicking the advertising hoardings while shrugging off team-mate Philippe Albert. Alan Shearer had to get his shirt back from the crowd so he could finish the game. Probably the angriest goal celebration ever.
The most famous goal in Premier League history – Sergio Aguero’s winner against QPR in May 2012 clinched the title. He celebrated by taking his shirt off and swinging it round over his head. Like Ryan Giggs’ FA Cup one against Arsenal – with less chest hair.
Adebayor riles up Arsenal fans
Another classic. Emmanuel Adebayor joined Manchester City from Arsenal in July 2009 and two months later faced his old club in a Premier League game. After scoring with 10 minutes to go, he ran 90 yards – sprinting past all his celebrating team-mates – to slide on his knees in front of the Arsenal away fans who had taunted him. He apologised and was later fined £25,000 and given a suspended two-match ban.
Gerrard kissing camera
The kind of celebration made for TV montages. After Steven Gerrard scored a penalty for Liverpool against Manchester United in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford in March 2009 he kissed the badge and then ran over to a camera near the corner flag before kissing the lens. He repeated the trick five years later in a 3-0 win at United.
The chilled celebration
A celebration so glorious in its simplicity. After a magnificent – and iconic in its own regard – lob over Sunderland goalkeeper Lionel Perez in December 1996, the Manchester United hero stood nonchalantly puffing his chest out before holding his arms in the air. Earlier this year he said his celebration was revenge for fellow Frenchman Perez refusing to shake his hand before kick-off.
The ‘regular’ celebration which only happened once in the league
Ah the iconic Peter Crouch celebration, the robot. He did it so many times it is hard to count. Except that he only ever did it three times and once in the Premier League. He marked his 100th Premier League goal – for Stoke in a 1-1 draw against Everton in February 2017 – with the robot dance. He had only ever actually done it twice before – in 2006 England World Cup warm-up games with Hungary and Jamaica.