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The evolution of football goal celebrations

Coral takes a look at the most iconic celebrations

The use of goal celebrations has come a long way.

From Roger Milla’s dance to Peter Crouch’s robot right up until the most recent Dele Alli Challenge – goal celebrations have evolved a great deal.

Here, Coral look at the most iconic celebrations over the past 60 years…

Dele Challenge (2018)

Dele Challenge

Most goal celebrations are pretty easy to replicate.

But the Dele Alli Challenge has plenty of supporters baffled.

After scoring, the Tottenham Hotspur ace holds his thumb and finger up to his eye before resting his hand on his forehead.

Easy, right? Wrong. Try it for yourself and see how you get on!

Take the L: Antoine Griezmann (2018)

Antoine Griezmann Take the L

It used to be all about Drake’s Hotline Bling for Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.

Now it’s popular video game Fortnite which is shaping his celebrations.

The World Cup winner jumps around while making an L gesture on his forehead in homage to the game, which is also played by Spurs striker Harry Kane.

Griezmann will need to put his moves into practice a few more times this season if he’s to land the Champions League Golden Boot.

Mbappe Arms Crossed (2017)

Mbappe Arms Crossed

Football’s hottest young talent needs a hot as hell celebration.

So Kylian Mbappe’s famous arms crossed offering more than fits the bill.

The Paris Saint-Germain star revealed last year it is inspired by his younger brother, who did it against him after winning a game of FIFA. 

He may not have beaten his brother, but his club side PSG are fourth-favourites to win the Champions League this season.

Pogba and Lingard Dab (2017)

Pogba Dab

The dab has its origins in the Atlanta hip-hop scene.

But Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard brought it to the UK’s attention at Manchester United in 2017.

Best described as looking similar to someone sneezing into the inside of their elbow, it has been attempted – with varying success – by pundits, fans and celebrities aplenty.

The Sniper: Edinson Cavani (2014)

Edinson Cavani The Sniper

Easily identifiable but hugely controversial, Edinson Cavani’s sniper celebration didn’t go down well with everyone.

The Uruguayan forward was sent off after getting down on one knee and pretending to fire gunshots into the crowd following his goal against Lens in 2014.

A world-class marksman inside the box, perhaps Cavani should let his boots do the talking in the future.

Siii: Cristiano Ronaldo (2013)

Cristiano Ronaldo Siii

A maverick player like Cristiano Ronaldo needs a maverick celebration.

And with his ‘Siii’ war cry, Ronaldo has somehow managed it. After scoring, the Portuguese runs away from the goal before jumping, landing and shouting the abnormal cry.

He hasn’t just confined it to the football field, though. Ronaldo also brought out the shout at the end of his Ballon D’Or acceptance speech in 2015.

It’s the only celebration on this list that is more typified by a noise rather than a move.

The Heart: Gareth Bale (2010)

Gareth Bale The Heart

Cheesy it might be but the heart celebration is synonymous with Gareth Bale.

After scoring what usually tends to be a pretty incredible goal, Bale moves his hands into a heart shape before running off in delight.

What started off as an emotional tribute to childhood sweetheart Emma Rhys-Jones has quite literally become a trademark of brand Bale.

And in the same way that their relationship has evolved, so has Bale’s career. After debuting the celebration for Tottenham Hotspur, the Welshman has gone on to become one of Real Madrid’s most important players, can he help Los Blancos retain this year’s Champions League trophy?

The Robot: Peter Crouch (2006)

Peter Crouch The Robot

Prior to 2006, no one had ever seen a 6ft 7in centre-forward dance like a robot.

But after Peter Crouch bagged the first goal of a hat-trick against Jamaica as England warmed up for the 2006 World Cup, the robot celebration was everywhere.

The ex-Liverpool striker was at the centre of it all, even if it would be another 11 years before the robotics returned.

After scoring his 100th Premier League in February 2017, Crouch oiled his joints to perform the iconic celebration once more. He’s even offered tips to UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

The DJ: Emile Heskey (2002)

Emile Heskey The DJ

Believe it or not there was once a time when Emile Heskey scored enough goals to warrant a trademark goal celebration.

DJ Heskey hit the decks a number of times in the early-2000s, most memorably for Liverpool.

Unfortunately, the ex-Leicester City man did not pursue a career in Ibiza after retiring from football in 2016.

The Dentist’s Chair: Paul Gascoigne (1996)

Paul Gascoigne The Dentist’s Chair.

Found after a trip to the Far East prior to Euro 96, this celebration goes down in Three Lions folklore.

After scoring one of England’s best ever tournament goals against Scotland, Paul Gascoigne managed to top the strike with his subsequent celebration.

Ever the joker, Gazza went down flat on his back as his teammates got the water bottles from the side of the pitch and squirted water all over the mesmeric midfielder.

The Dentist’s chair was born.

The one-handed salute: Alan Shearer (1996)

Alan Shearer salute

Shearer’s one-handed salute may have been a simple celebration. But sometimes the simple ones are the best.

The Coral ambassador was a regular scorer for Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and England. However, it was for his hometown club where Shearer performed that famous celebration the most.

The Premier League’s top goalscorer hit 206 goals in the famous black and white stripes. And that celebration featured almost every time.

The Baby: Bebeto (1994)

Bebeto The Baby

If you’ve ever wanted to know where the popular mid-2000s, ‘cradling the imaginary baby’ celebration came from, then look no further.

Bebeto was a trailblazer. After scoring in the quarter-final against the Netherlands, the eventual World Cup winner ran to the corner before cradling an imaginary baby in celebration of his newborn son.

It produced one of the most memorable World Cup images, as three Samba Men cradled a trio of pretending Samba babies.

Corner Flag Dance: Roger Milla (1990)

Roger Milla Corner Flag Dance

If you were asked to name a memorable celebration at a World Cup, you’d probably come up with Roger Milla’s for Cameroon.

It almost didn’t happen, though. Milla had to be asked by Cameroon’s president at the time if he would come out retirement for the tournament in Italy.

Luckily Milla accepted. He then scored a thumping header against Romania before heading to the corner flag and unleashing his killer moves.

He would go on to score a further three times in the tournament.

Run and cheer: Geoff Hurst (1966)

Geoff Hurst Run and cheer

This was a celebration based on pure elation and perhaps the only one on this list that was not pre-planned.

Hurst’s celebration wasn’t scripted; it was just the exultation of absolute joy at scoring in the biggest football match on the planet.

After bundling home the first goal, Hurst leapt into the air, fists aloft before embracing teammate George Cohen with a huge hug inside the 18-yard-box.