Five memorable World Cup goal celebrations

15 June 2014 03:02

Colombia's exuberant dance routine celebrating their goals in the opening 3-0 World Cup win over Greece is just the latest in a long line of quirky celebrations.

AFP Sport looks at five of the most eye-catching down the years:


Tardelli's passionate charge

Paolo Rossi may have returned from a ban for match-fixing, and redeemed himself by his goals getting Italy to the final against West Germany, but it was Marco Tardelli's celebration after he put Italy 2-1 up with a superb goal that left its mark on the final. Wheeling away, the midfielder raced towards the Italian bench and coach Enzo Bearzot with his arms outstretched and mouth agape and then slid on to the ground to be swamped by his team-mates. "After the ball went in, I went crazy. I think that's normal. And in that very moment, when you manage to do something like that, it's just fantastic. You become a world champion after winning that match and you recognise the magnitude of it all and, in a few seconds, your whole life flashes before your eyes. It was a really incredible thing," he told


Strachan gets a leg up.or almost

Scotland have had few memorable moments at the World Cup -- defeats to Peru and Costa Rica spring to mind -- but Gordon Strachan left an indelible mark on the finals in Mexico. The then Manchester United midfield star scored a cracker of a goal against West Germany in their group game. The diminutive red-headed Strachan (he stands at 5ft 6in/1.68m) ran to the advertising hoardings behind the goal and, mimicking players who celebrated by jumping over them, rested his right leg on top of it flashing a cheeky smile at his team-mates. Scotland lost the match 2-1 and caught their usual early plane home while the Germans went onto the final and lost to Argentina.


Milla the hipster

Roger Milla arrived at the finals aged 38 with everyone thinking his best years were behind him. However, he defied the critics and scored four goals, two against Colombia and ran to the corner flag not to embrace it but to dance around it. Indeed he may have been relatively old for a player appearing at a finals but the dexterity he showed with his hip movements showed that as the oldest swinger in town he was equal to none. "It came to me in the moment, in the stadium when I scored that first goal [against Romania]," he told the BBC. "It was instinct. I couldn't plan it before the tournament because I didn't know if the coach was going to pick me to play, and I didn't know if I was going to score a goal." It proved a money spinner for him as Coca-Cola signed him up to make an advertisement based round his dance.


Yekini's goal yields net profit

Rashidi Yekini arrived at Nigeria's first ever World Cup finals already feted as one of the greatest players the continent had produced. He left it with that image enhanced and having also moved many with his emotional celebration after scoring his country's first ever goal at the finals against Bulgaria. While it was one of the easiest of the 37 goals he scored in 58 appearances for the Super Eagles it was the symbolism of it that provoked his reaction as he ran to the back of the goal and yelled, shaking the netting with his hands before thrusting them through and raising them towards the sky. Some on the team were annoyed, however, that the notoriously reserved striker had opted to celebrate this historic moment all on his own rather than share it by joining a communal hugging session. The joy of that moment could not have contrasted more than with his end as his health eventually deteriorated. He suffered from depression, was diagnosed as being bi-polar and died aged just 48 in 2012.


George dogs the limelight

Yekini's celebration couldn't have been in starker contrast to that of his team-mate, winger Finidi George at the same finals. He scored a beauty against the insipid Greeks slotting the ball past their goalkeeper Adonis and then proceeded to run towards the corner flag. All very normal until he reached there and instead of doing a Roger Milla he got down on all fours and imitated a dog to the extent that he lifted his leg against it.

Source: AFP