• Celebrating can be Dangerous

    The goal celebration has become almost as important as the goal itself these days. Bobby Charlton would celebrate with a simple handshake with a team mate and Alan Shearer famously just lifted one arm. That doesnִ cut it these days and as the celebrations have become more outlandish and they have also become more dangerous leading to serious injuries for the players concerned.

    When I scored my only goal for my school team I just flung my arms in the air more out of surprise than joy as I could not believe it had gone in the net. I donִ think that would cut it these days.


    In the Turkish league a study found that almost 6% of injuries were caused by goal celebrations.[i]

    It stated, Ӕhe injuries ranged from ligament and muscle strains as a result of sliding across the field to rib and clavicle fractures as a result of players piling up on each other.Ԝn
    One player whilst celebrating suffered an ankle fracture which needed surgery. On average players were out of action for five weeks due to over enthusiastic goal celebrations.

    The last thing a team needs after it has scored a goal is recourse to the first aid kit.


    I used to watch a Finnish International called Shefki Kuqi and when he scored he would effectively perform a belly flop. On hard pitches I was sure he would injure himself but people obviously enjoyed it as there was a Facebook petition to get it included on the Fifa 12 football game.

    There are players with greater gymnastic ability than Kuqi who can perform multiple back flips when they score. Nani of Manchester United is one and the first player I saw doing it was the Congo international Lumana Lua Lua.

    In 2006 when playing for Portsmouth against Arsenal after scoring he showed off his agility once again only to injure his ankle in the process. Not only was he out of the game for a number of weeks with an ankle support on his feet were now planted firmly on the ground.


    Football pundits tell us that there is no greater feeling than scoring a goal. So it is not surprising that some players show such glee when they see the ball fly in especially in a big game such as a cup final or vital league match.

    This makes the ex-Chelsea player Babayaroֳ broken leg caused by a summersault whilst celebrating a goal in a pre-season friendly against Stevenage slightly puzzling.

    Sometimes you donִ need the showmanship and I am sure his manager was not altogether pleased with him performing acrobatics at such an unimportant match.

    But at least he injured himself scoring his own goal. The ex-Manchester City striker Shaun Goater injured his knee by kicking an advertising hoarding after team mate Nicolas Anelka had scored.

    If you are going to get knee pain I am sure a player would want it to be caused through a crunching tackle rather than by kicking an inanimate object.

    Whilst Shearer and Charlton were quite dull when they scored at least as the crowds cheers died down they werenִ heading for the treatment table.

    [i] American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2005

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