11 Iconic Football Celebrations and Reasons Behind Them

Ronaldo's Calma or siuuu, Messi's "remember the name", Balotelli's muscle flex or Henry's knee slide; here are the 11 most iconic football celebrations in history and the reasons behind them.

Koushik Biswas
New Update
11 Iconic Football Celebrations and Reasons Behind Them -

Football is the most loved and watched sport in the world. What footballers do on the ground goes viral in a minute. From their outstanding free-kicks, goals, saves, hairstyles and celebrations, everything impacts their fans. They then want to emulate what their icons have done on the field. Here are 11 iconic football celebrations which have somehow changed the football scenario.

11 Iconic Football Celebrations and their reason behind it

11 iconic football celebrations | Football facts | Sportz Point

Note: The numbering is made just to order it. All of the below celebrations are iconic in their own way and hold the same importance.

#1 Calma | Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo's "Calma" celebration silenced the Barcelona supporters at Camp Nou in 2012. The then Real Madrid star scored the match-winning goal against the arch-rival in the El-Clasico of the 2011-12 La Liga season. The celebration meant the fans needed to calm down as Cristiano was there to save the match for them. This was Ronaldo's first win over Barcelona in La Liga. Mesut Ozil had provided the assist to him.

11 Iconic Football Celebrations and Reasons Behind Them - Ronaldo's Calma -

#2 SIUUUUUU | Cristiano Ronaldo

Along with the "Calma", this is one of the most loved and iconic celebrations in football history. The "Siuuuuuu" has been hit by many young footballers who admire Cristiano Ronaldo. The word "si" in Spanish means "yes". According to the Portuguese star, while playing for Real Madrid against Chelsea in the USA in a pre-season game in 2013 he hit the celebration for the first time.

"I started to say 'si', it's like 'yes' when I was in Real Madrid," Ronaldo said in an interview.

"I was in the USA and we played against Chelsea and I don't know where this is coming from, the celebration. I just scored the goal and it just came out. It was just natural, to be honest. Since that, I started to do it more often and I feel like the supporters and the fans see it and they're like 'Cristiano, siiiiiiuuuu,' Ronaldo added.

on X: "Ronaldo has NEVER done 'SIUUU" celebration in a Manchester United  shirt, but knowing he'll do that in a Man City jersey in a few days kills  me." /

#3 Remember the name "Jersey celebration" | Lionel Messi

Along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi is one of the most celebrated and loved football icons in the history of the game. Messi, the highest goal scorer in La Liga history scored one of the most iconic goals in the league to silent Santiago Bernabeu. On April 23, 2017, Messi scored the match-winning goal against Real Madrid to win the El Clasico by 2-3. To celebrate his 500th Barcelona goal, the Argentine held up his jersey and showed his name and number to the Madrid fans to remember the name. This is one of the most iconic La Liga moments as well.

#4 Henry's Slide | Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry is one of the most successful footballers in Premier League history. His time at the Arsenal Football Club had made him one of the stars of the game. The French striker always had a great record against their East London rival, Tottenham Hotspur. In their London Derby in 2002, Henry again found the net after running nearly 80 yards and celebrated in front of the travelling away fans with a famous knee slide.

No photo description available.

#5 Tribute to Maradona | Lione Messi

Messi and Maradona, are two names that will be written in football history forever. Maradona was one of the icons that Messi used to look upon throughout his career. Both the Argentines used to share tremendous mutual respect. Although their coach and player partnership could not produce the prize the whole of Argentina was looking for, their love remained the same for each other.

After the sudden demise of Diego Maradona, the then-Barcelona star gave a perfect tribute to him after scoring a goal against Osasuna in La Liga. Messi took off his shirt to reveal Newell's Old Boys shirt in reference to former player Diego Maradona.

11 Iconic Football Celebrations and Reasons Behind Them - Messi's Tribute to Maradona -

#6 Mario Balotelli | The Muscle Flex Celebration

Mario Balotelli is one of the most controversial footballers of all time. He used to be in the news for good or bad. Euro 2012,Β Italy vs Germany, semi-finals, Mario Balotelli was in the news for some good things. He scored twice as Italy defeated Germany by 2-1 to lock horns with Spain. As the Italian striker hit the net, he ripped off his shirt and flexed his muscles to show the world what he is made of. When he asked about the celebration, Balotelli said, "People saw my body and got angry – they were jealous."

Balotelli flexed his muscles in jubilation after scoring the second goal against Germany in the semi-finals of EURO 2012 |
Balotelli flexed his muscles in jubilation after scoring the second goal against Germany in the semi-finals of EURO 2012.

#7 'Dani Jarque: Siempre con nosotros' | Andres Iniesta

One of the greatest playmakers and mid-fielders of football history, Andres Iniesta could not hold on to his emotions after netting the ball in the final of the 2010 Football World Cup. The Spanish maestro scored a scintillating goal to take his team home against the Netherlands in the final.

In pure joy and happiness, Iniesta took off his jersey to show the message, 'Dani Jarque: Siempre con nosotros' which means "Dani Jarque: Always with us." Dani Jarque was a former Espanyol player and he was with Iniesta in the Spain U-21 team. Both of them were really closed. However, unfortunately, Dani passed away from a heart attack in 2009 which also led Iniesta to depression. Iniesta showed his love for his friend on the grandest stage of football.

11 Iconic Football Celebrations and Reasons Behind Them - Iniesta's  'Dani Jarque: Siempre con nosotros' -

#8 Klopp's fist bumps | Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool fans share a passionate love for each other. The German coach has been very successful for the Reds and he has been very much popular with the fans at Anfield as well. Jurgen uses his fist bumps to share his passion for Liverpool and football with the fans at the stadium. In fact, it has now become a tradition that after each important win over his opponent, Klopp does his fist bumps in front of the Liverpool fans and the fans chant for him as well.

#9 The Bar Pose | Thierry Henry

When you score so many iconic goals, you tend to come twice in the list of most iconic celebrations in football history. Thierry Henry comes twice on the list. Perhaps, this is one of the first "football memes" made on the internet.

Playing for the "New York Red Bulls", the then-36-year-old Henry went viral on the internet. In 2013, after nearly winning everything in football, Henry went to play for the New York Red Bulls and scored a fantastic goal for them. Then, he stood by the goalpost and celebrated like nothing just happened. Few took out the photo and photoshopped it into memes which went viral as well. The celebration is also called "Henrying".

Henrying - 11 Iconic Football Celebrations and Reasons Behind Them - Sportz Point

#10 The shirt-off | Diego Forlan

Do you know why referees give a yellow card to players who take off their shirts during the celebration? Well, it is because of Diego Forlan.

Forlan's stint at Manchester United was never a smooth ride. In fact, he had a nine-month-long goal drought at that time as well. In 2002, even after ending his goal drought, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sit him on the bench for an important Premier League clash against Southhampton.

With the match being 1-1, Sir Alex decided to bring the Uruguayan on the field. Forlan, then scored an absolute stunner from outside of the box to give United the lead and eventually the win. With humongous joy, Forlan took off his shirt but could not wear it back on time. He played bare-chested for a little while and the video of him holding his shirt in one hand while making a tackle near the touchline will always be funny.

FIFA did not like that, and after that incident, they decided to give a yellow card to every player whenever he took off his shirt on the field.

Diego Forlan's shirt-off celebration -

#11 Baby Celebration | Bebeto

Brazilian footballer, Bebeto's baby celebration is one of the most iconic football celebrations in World Cups. After scoring a goal against the Netherlands in the 1994 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, Bebeto went to the corner and celebrated holding an imaginary baby in his hands. Later his teammates joined him too in the celebration.

After the match, he revealed that it was for his newborn son, Mattheus. In a webinar for InStat, Bebeto said, "It was spontaneous. Nothing had been planned. But I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my teammates joining me in celebrating that goal. At first, no one outside the team knew about our son being born. But later, I explained to the world."

11 Iconic Football Celebrations and Reasons Behind Them - Bebeto's baby celebration -


Lionel Messi Jurgen Klopp Diego Maradona Cristiano Ronaldo Andres Iniesta