The best 'one-off' celebrations in football history

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In football, it doesn’t get much more exciting than scoring a goal. For most players, watching the ball hit the back of the net becomes all too much for them to contain themselves.

Celebrating, then, has become somewhat of an art form in the industry, with players such as Alan Shearer, Tim Cahill, Daniel Sturridge and Peter Crouch creating some iconic moves to celebrate the occasion.

Though, some of the best celebrations aren’t the ones that are regular. Sometimes an event happens that causes a player to celebrate very particularly in the most hilarious of circumstances.

Whether they use it to make a statement, take the mick out of themselves or to annoy the opposition, there are very particular ‘one-off’ celebrations that have become iconic for one reason or another.

But what are the best individual one-off celebrations in the history of the sport?

10. Haaland takes a second to relax

The youngster has burst onto scene recently and looks to be announcing himself as an established goal scorer at Borussia Dortmund. In the Champions League amidst a 2-1 win over PSG, Haaland crossed his legs and started meditating. A nice celebration, sure.

However, it was made worse when PSG came back in the reverse fixture to progress to the next stage. After which, all the PSG team took the time to copy the celebration which inevitably conjured a massive fuss on social media about the line between sportsmanship and ‘banter.’

9. Why Always Him?

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Mario Balotelli will be remembered for a lot of things. From needlessly showboating to letting off fireworks in his own home, the player has endured a lively career. But his celebration in the Manchester derby is perhaps his most iconic moment.

After scoring the first goal in that infamous 6-1 win, the Italian lifted up his shirt to reveal the message ‘Why Always Me’; a fitting summary of his unconventional career.

8. Suarez takes a dive in front of Moyes

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Another memorable celebration from the Premier League in another huge derby clash. This one, however, came in the Merseyside battle between Liverpool and Everton. Blues’ manager David Moyes criticised striker Luis Suarez for being a diver in the build up to the highly anticipated match.

So, Suarez responded the only way he knew how… by scoring. After netting to put his side in front, the Uruguay international ran half the length of the pitch to dive right in front of Moyes who – after the match – told reporters that he thought the celebration was ‘great’… well played, David.

7. The dark knight


We could make a whole top 10 list of individual Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goals but this one beats the lot. The striker loves a mask just as much as he loves a flip, but none was more iconic than when he played dress-up with his teammate.

During a 3-0 win for Jurgen Klopp’s side in 2015, Aubameyang scored the second goal of the match 10 minutes from time to settle the tie. He ran with his creative partner Marco Reus to collect Batman and Robin masks in front of the Dortmund faithful. No cape though… otherwise he might be higher on the list.

6. How did he do that?

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That was the reaction that everyone had when Dele Alli first whipped out this celebration. A seemingly harmless hand-trick turned the social media world upside down. It became a phenomenon, a challenge. Kids were asking their friends at school: “Can you do the Dele Alli?”

It was nothing more than craze but one that will be remembered for sure.

5. How old?

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32 at the time, rumours had emerged that Eto’o might be a tad older. Mourinho claimed in an interview that he might be as old as 35. The players reaction was priceless.

After scoring his first goal for the club against Tottenham, Eto’o raced to the corner flag, arched his back and pretended to be an old man using a walking stick. What a way to deal with unwanted speculation.

4. Totti taking a selfie

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Francesco Totti is widely renowned as a king of the sport for many reasons. One of those reasons might just be his unconventional celebration in the fierce Derby della Capitale for Roma. It was his 40th appearance in the fixture and clearly, he had planned something special to mark the occasion.

After finding themselves 2-0 down at the break, Totti scored twice to bring his side back to level terms. On scoring the second, the Roma legend ran to the goalkeeping coach whom he had handed his phone before the match, mad his way to the Stadio Olimpico’s Curva Sud and took one of the most jubilant selfies of all time with the Roma faithful.

3. Are you sitting comfortably?

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Jimmy Bullard is renowned for being a joker in the footballing world. His weekly appearance on Soccer AM assures us all of that. No moment, however, was funnier than his celebration against Manchester City.

In a previous fixture against the current Premier League champions in 2010, Hull and Bullard had found themselves 4-0 down at halftime, prompting manager Phil Brown to sit them all down on the pitch in front of the fans and give the side a good ol’ telling off.

In the rematch with the side, Bullard saw an opportunity to remind his boss how embarrassing that chat might have been for the players. After scoring a penalty to make it 1-1, Bullard got all his teammates to sit around in a circle whilst he waved his finger in disapproval, mocking his manager who he late claimed told him to wind his neck in.

2. Rooney KO

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A video on social media had be circulating showing Wayne Rooney putting on a pair of boxing gloves for a bit of a home sparring session with former teammate Phil Bardsley. In the video Rooney hits the deck but it was believed to be a joke as he stood straight back up. Nonetheless it became a huge social media phenomenon that Rooney had been ‘knocked out.’

Rooney decided to end the talk with a humorous celebration after scoring the final goal in a 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. He ran to the corner flag, threw out a few punches before landing flat on his back as though he had just been KO’d. It was brilliant.


1. Messi washing his shirt

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Does Messi just come first in everything? It is his celebration in front of the Real Madrid supporters in the 2017 El Clasico that takes top spot. After celebrating with his teammates, the Argentine waited before taking of his shirt and held it up to the faces of his rivals. The moment alone was captivating. He was alone. It seemed as though he was ready to take on the entire Santiago Bernabeu and win.

As if his 92nd minute winner wasn’t enough to drive the Madrid fans crazy…

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