Football often throws up the situation whereby a player scores a goal against his old club, but what has become increasingly common today is a lack of celebration. 

Just this week, we saw Cristiano Ronaldo hold back his celebrations after scoring a bullet header against his former club, Manchester United. 

But why does this happen and should players be celebrating regardless of the opposition?

Not celebrating a goal is now seen as a sign of respect. A way of saying thank you for their time at the club, and showing they still respects the fans that once sung their name and cheered them on. 

Last month, former Chelsea player Shaun Wright-Phillips, scored a stunning goal for QPR against his old employers, giving them an all-important 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge. 

Despite the fact that this was his very first goal for QPR, he still chose not to celebrate it. A sign of respect for his time at the club, where he made 125 appearances, the Blues fans will have been grateful for his lack of celebration.  

Daniel Sturridge has also shown examples of this etiquette, choosing not to celebrate any of his two goals against Bolton Wanderers last season, after spending the previous season on-loan with the Trotters, as well as his superb strike against Manchester City at the beginning of February, when Liverpool drew 2-2 at the Etihad Stadium. 

Although he was jeered by the City fans, he still maintained his composure, and silently strolled towards the centre circle as his team mates mobbed him. 

When a footballer does not celebrate, or even smile, when scoring a goal against their former clubs, it proves the consideration they hold, showing us that football is not all about the game, but also about respect. 

And players such as Emmanuel Adebayor, who showed a severe lack of respect when he decided to run across the pitch to taunt the Arsenal supporters, the likes of Ronaldo and Sturridge should be admired for their actions. 


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