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The Best Goal Celebrations of the Modern Era

September 01, 2015

- Grant Whittington

In the Premier League era, we have seen colour, noise and energy added to a previously staid Football League. This change has been driven by the integration of continental players into the English game, as these individuals have brought their own unique cultural influences, ideas, and, more excitingly, goal celebrations to the British game. The latter is a particularly interesting point, as traditional goals were celebrated by a simple handshake or a nod of approval.

Today we have flips, slides, and well, just some rather unusual celebrations that have become infectious even amongst the British player. Here are three of the best goal celebrations from the modern era…

Stuart Pearce and the ‘Psycho’ Celebration

Stuart Pearce became a symbol of hurt and pain after his missed penalty during the World Cup semi-final against Germany. It is therefore testament to Pearce’s fortitude and strength of character that he agreed to take one during the quarter final shoot-out against Spain at Euro ’96, after a dour 0-0 draw at Wembley.

This time the full-back scored with ease, triggering an intense ‘psycho’ celebration that was befitting of the player’s nickname. This has become an iconic goal celebration, although one that is rarely mimicked in the modern age.

Temuri Ketsbaia and the ‘Raging Bull’ Celebration

On the topic of iconic but rare goal celebrations, we cannot discount Temuri Ketsbaia’s efforts against Bolton. Having struck a crucial goal for Newcastle at St. James’ Park, Ketsbaia responded by approaching the advertising hoardings and kicking them in a repeated frenzy.

The Georgian international has since expressed regret at the ferocity of his reaction, after he received considerable criticism for setting a poor example to younger players, but there is no doubt that it remains one of the most memorable celebrations in the history of the game.

Paul Gascoigne and the ‘Dentist’s Chair’ Celebration

Another highly original but controversial celebration, Paul Gascoigne decided to turn negative headlines in his favour after scoring a stunning goal against Scotland at the European Championships in 1996. After being implicated in a heavy drinking session prior to the tournament (which involved the infamous ‘Dentist’s Chair’ incident), Gascoigne dropped to the ground after scoring while Teddy Sheringham squirted the contents of a water bottle into his mouth. The media absolutely lapped this celebration up, while Gascoigne himself went onto put in another stellar performance during the now iconic 4-1 win over the Netherlands in the next game.

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