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9 goal celebrations that went badly wrong

The joy of finding the net can soon turn to despair, as Jon Spurling recalls

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1. Knee-sy does it

As he landed following the final twist, the 29-year-old fell to the ground in agony

In August, Hamburg winger Nicolai Muller managed to rule himself out of action for seven months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament celebrating a goal. Having volleyed home the only goal of the game in his side's 1-0 win over Augsburg, the 29-year-old insisted on performing a frankly ludicrous series of balletic pirouettes. As he landed following the final twist, Muller fell to the ground in agony. 

"Next time, I’ll probably just shake the guys’ hands,” he said ruefully afterwards. Too late now, Nicolai.

2. Fowl play in Argentina

After notching a crucial goal in Boca Juniors’ Copa Libertadores clash with arch-rivals River Plate in 2004, Carlos Tevez ripped off his shirt and flapped around dementedly, performing a chicken dance in front of his team-mates.

The reason? Boca fans refer to River Plate players as “gallinas” (chickens), claiming their rivals lack guts and fighting spirit. The distinctly unimpressed referee deemed the celebration “inflammatory” and immediately dismissed a crestfallen Tevez, before replicating the celebration to demonstrate the error of the striker's ways.

3. "Down the line, Robbie"

Steve McManaman quickly pulled Fowler to his feet, but the damage was already done

Relentlessly taunted by Everton fans, who alleged that he was fond of sniffing white powder in his spare time, Liverpool striker Fowler celebrated scoring against the Toffees by getting down on all fours and pretending to hoover a line of cocaine off the touchline.

Team-mate Steve McManaman quickly pulled him to his feet, but the damage was already done. Manager Gerard Houllier tried desperately to cover for his star man, desperately claiming “Robbie was merely imitating a cow eating grass,” but the authorities didn't buy it and banned him for four games.

It wasn't the first time Fowler was punished for a celebration: in a UEFA Cup match against Brann Bergen two years earlier, the striker lifted his shirt to reveal a vest referencing the Liverpool dockers’ dispute, in which 500 workers were sacked. With political demonstrations forbidden by UEFA, Fowler was hit with a fine. 

4. Cavani the sharp-shooter

There were some incidents which meant that, unfortunately, the match lost a lot of interest in the second half

- Laurent Blanc

Edinson Cavani was one of three players to be sent off in PSG's 3-1 victory over Lens in October 2014, with the Uruguayan seeing red for his ‘sniper’ celebration. The striker was first booked for celebrating his goal in front of Lens’ raucous fans with his trademark gun celebration, before then receiving a second yellow for remonstrating with the referee.

"There were some incidents which meant that, unfortunately, the match lost a lot of interest in the second half," PSG coach Laurent Blanc complained. "At 10 against nine, the teams cancelled each other out and it wasn't a great match." “I’ve celebrated like that for a long time, and I’m not changing now,” blasted a defiant Cavani.

5. Til death do us part

As he jumped off the fence, much of his finger tore off with the ring

December 5, 2004 wasn't Diogo’s day. With his Servette side away at FC Schaffhausen, the midfielder set up a goal for Jean Beausejour in the 87th minute of the game, then jumped onto the metal fence separating fans from pitch to celebrate.

Regrettably, his wedding ring got caught in the barrier and, as he jumped off the fence, much of his finger tore off with the ring. To rub salt in the wound (not literally, mercifully), referee Florian Etter then penalised him with a yellow card for excessive time-wasting. In fact, Diogo was busy helping stewards search for his severed finger. That's what they all say...