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World Cup 2014

World Cup football: The greatest goal celebrations in history

Published on Jul 1, 2014 7:40 PM
Colombia's players dance as they celebrate scoring during a Group C football match between Colombia and Ivory Coast at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 19, 2014.  -- PHOTO: AFP 

On football's biggest stage, goal celebrations are almost as enjoyable as the goals themselves - sometimes even more. Here's a selection of some of the most iconic, memorable and best celebrations at the World Cup Finals. 

1. Roger Milla (Cameroon) v Colombia 1990

Once upon a time, goal celebrations were just handshakes, hugs and maybe a pat on the back.

But that all changed when an old man taught us how it feels to be young again. Arguably the pioneer and inspiration of out-of-the-box goal celebrations, Milla made the 1990 World Cup his fairy tale when he scored twice in three minutes against Colombia to make Cameroon the first African side to qualify for a World Cup quarter-final.

It was also then that his goal celebration, an unplanned hip wiggle at the corner flag, became his trademark.

2. Bebeto (Brazil) v Netherlands 1994

Milla might have pioneered the dance moves, but Bebeto gave birth to the original baby celebrations. The Brazilian, who became a father to a boy during the 1994 World Cup, dedicated the goal to his newborn son with the cradle rock after scoring against the Netherlands.

He recently commemorated the 20th anniversary of this iconic celebration - by recreating it with his son.

Now 20, Mattheus Oliviera is an attacking midfielder for Flamengo and has played for Brazil's Under-20s.

3. Marco Tardelli (Italy), Italy v West Germany 1982

The primal scream that has gone on to earn its own name.

Tardelli's goal put Italy 2-0 up in the 1982 final in Madrid and 'L'urlo di Tardelli', or 'The Tardelli Scream' is an iconic reflection of the guttural roar, unbridled joy and raw emotion of that moment.

4. Diego Maradona (Argentina), Argentina v Greece 1994

This one is potentially as scary as it is memorable. The image of a maniacal Maradona charging towards the camera along the pitch shouting and with eyes bulging is one that is unforgettable, to say the least.

He looked as if he was on a high after scoring a cracker against Greece. Ten days later, we knew why - the Argentinian had failed a drug test and was subsequently sent home, effectively ending his international career.

5. Brian Laudrup (Denmark), Denmark v Brazil 1998

When you score a goal that puts your side level with the Selecao in the quarter-finals, you go into delirious celebration. Or you could stay ice cool like Laudrup did, slide onto the pitch and strike a model-like pose as if it were another laid-back day at the beach.

Denmark lost that match 2-3, but Laudrup's celebration is what people remember.

6. Papa Bouba Diop (Senegal), Senegal v France 2002

In a classic World Cup giant-killing moment, underdogs Senegal shocked defending champions France in the opening match of the 2002 tournament.

After scoring the opening goal of the game, Bouba Diop laid his jersey on the groud and gathered his team-mates to dance around it as if it were some magical campfire.

Perhaps it really was something special. That strike turned out to the the winning goal of the match. Senegal went on to reach the quarter-finals, while France didn't make it past the group stage.

7. Julius Aghahowa (Nigeria), Nigeria v Sweden 2002

Nigeria's performance that year, drawn in a group featuring Argentina, Sweden and England, was forgettable. But the team have something memorable in Aghahowa's goal celebration.

A dizzying celebration (literally!) with six continuous back flips and a solid double somersault to finish it off. Good enough to earn something on the side as an acrobat or a second career as a gymnast maybe?

8. Siphiwe Tshabalala (South Africa), South Africa v Mexico 2010

This was the first goal of the 2010 edition, scored by the host country. Bafana Bafana needed a celebration for the books, and they had one.

We give you the South African take on the Macarena. Shorter, better, and definitely more enjoyable. Coupled with Tshabalala's melodious name, the scenes of celebration made for a perfect World Cup moment.

9. Miguel Herrera (Mexico), Mexico v Croatia 2014

Fine, Herrera is not a player and he certainly did not score a goal at this ongoing edition of the World Cup, but it is not hard to see why images of the Mexico coach pumping his arms furiously by the touchline have gone viral.

His passion has lit up the tournament and inspired dozens of memes, gifs and countless Vine videos online. Too bad we won't be seeing anymore of that, with El Tri now knocked out.

10. Colombia 2014

The Colombians can dance, and their hips don't lie. They first took the world by surprise with a put-your-hands-in-the-air celebration when Pablo Armero scored the team's first goal of the tournament against Greece.

They have since done renditions of Michael Jackson's Thriller, and a salsa step led by star player James Rodriguez.
Long may this team's success at the tournament continue as we want to see more moves.