It is not out of the ordinary to see soccer players show affection on the pitch during a goal celebration or after a FIFA World Cup victory. Sometimes they will kiss their wrist, ring finger, or even each other to celebrate. Soccer is a very affectionate sport, and the adrenaline of success sparks a lot of emotion between players.
As football fans, you might be wondering why soccer players celebrate after scoring a goal. What do some of these soccer celebrations mean, and what are some iconic goal celebrations in the game’s history? Here is the complete breakdown of soccer celebrations and more!
Why Do Soccer Players Kiss Each Other?
Soccer players might kiss each other during a game as a sign of brotherly of sisterly love. European cultures are sometimes different from what you might find in the United States, and kissing is more a sign of respect and admiration. Kissing each other is more about showing love for teammates than anything romantic. Just like when players tell each other that they “love them” after winning a championship, it’s the same way with a quick kiss on the head.
Sometimes, you might see the entire team quickly run to the goalkeeper after winning a game via a clean sheet and kiss them on the head quickly. This quick kiss demonstrates the football club’s love for their goalie, an integral part of winning games.
Why Do Soccer Players Kiss their Wrists?
Usually, after a goal in a soccer match, you might see a player run and kiss their wrist. A player kissing their wrist tends to have a tattoo on it, usually for their loved ones. The kiss on their wrist is a way for that soccer player to acknowledge their spouse. In addition, some players have their son or daughter’s name on their wrist that they kiss.
Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez are famous football players to kiss their wrists after scoring goals. Both would do that after becoming a goalscorer during a game. The kissing on the wrist shows love to their family and country through their tattoos.
Why Do Soccer Players Put One Finger to their Lips After Scoring?
Sometimes, as an away football team, players will usually put their fingers on their lips after scoring a goal. This trademark celebration references that the fans in the stands are silent after the goal, so it is a taunt.
The same concept goes with scoring against a goalie who might be vocal against a striker or midfielder before a game. Putting your finger to your lips can signify that the goalie is now quiet after that goal.
Why Do Soccer Players Kiss their Fingers?
A soccer player who kisses their fingers expresses their love for their spouse. Since these football players are not running with their wedding rings on, they might kiss their ring fingers to signify their respect for their spouse.
Why Do Soccer Players Cup their Ear?
Some association football players cup their ears after a goal, saying they can’t hear the fans anymore. Typically, you will see players do that celebration who are on the road and playing in hostile environments. The soccer fans in the stands tend to get very quiet after an away team’s goal.
What Does Sucking Your Thumb Mean in Soccer?
After scoring a goal in soccer, a player might suck their thumb for a bit. Sucking your thumb has a few different meanings, like taunting the other team by making it seem like “child’s play” after scoring a goal. Another reason to suck their thumb is to announce to the world that they are having a baby.
Superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two famous players who sometimes do this celebration during a game.
A Group Hug and Celebration with Teammates
Football players (soccer players) tend to surround their teammates after they score a goal with hugs and high fives. The soccer team celebration around one player signifies a team effort to score that goal and congratulate that player on the point. A group hug also helps unite a football club by having each other’s back during the good and bad times, and it is essential always to celebrate good moments during games.
Mimicking an Airplane after a Goal
Some players like to spread their arms out and glide around the pitch as if they were an airplane. The Brazilian striker, Antônio de Oliveira Filho (Careca), would often perform this move after a game goal. The concept behind flying the plane was to show grace and how good the player was maneuvering around others to score a goal.
What Does a Knee Slide Mean in Soccer?
The knee slide is an iconic celebration that players like to do after scoring a goal. Sometimes a player will run towards the corner flag, slide, and then have the rest of their teammates slide into them. In fact, at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, you can find a statue of Thierry Henry doing a knee slide, which fans like to take photos of before a game.
The Backflip Celebration
Some soccer players like to perform a backflip after scoring a goal during a game. Obafemi Martin was famous for performing this move after scoring a goal during matches.
The Pose Celebration
Posing to the crowd with your arms wide-open is another famous goal. Megan Rapinoe made that pose iconic during the quarter-final match between Team USA and Team France.
Why Do Soccer Players Get a Yellow Card for Taking their Shirt Off After a Goal?
FIFA gives out yellow cards to players taking their shirts off entirely during a match. The players will get a yellow card because some of the players might have tattoos that could be offensive to fans, so the league doesn’t want them to show off their ink. Some tattoos could be religious or controversial, so it is best to discourage this behavior.
If a player puts the shirt over their head as they run, they might also receive a yellow card. Running without seeing where you are going can cause an injury, so referees give yellow cards during this celebration to deter this from happening throughout the game.
Finally, FIFA and sponsors don’t like it when players take off their shirts after a goal due to advertising. For example, let’s say that a player on Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, or Chelsea scores a goal. The camera will zoom in on that player, which will have logos and ads, but if the player takes that shirt off, the advertisers will get upset. These zoom-in moments for TV are big for advertisers, so they don’t want players to take their shirts off because their logo won’t be visible.
Do Women Soccer Players Get Penalized for Taking their Jerseys off During a Game?
Like men’s association football, women need to follow the same soccer rules. Women can’t take their jerseys off during a celebration, or else they can receive a yellow card during a match. Of course, Brandi Chastain in 1999 made taking off your jersey after winning a game famous. Brandi Chastain won the World Cup with over 90,000 fans in attendance via a penalty kick, and that celebration is still renowned today.
Conclusion: Why Do Soccer Players Celebrate after a Goal?
In summary, soccer (association football) has tons of emotion and excitement throughout the match. It is a mentally and physically draining game, and scoring a goal allows players to release emotion with their teammates and fans. There are many ways that players can celebrate after a goal, and most of the ways they celebrate are a way to show love to their loved ones.
Next time you are watching the World Cup Final, or even a friendly match, take notice of the goal celebrations between players. Soccer players tend to do different celebrations during games, adding a unique element to the beautiful game.