From Fowler to Gascoigne – Five Costly Goal Celebrations

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Nicolas Anelka is dominating the football headlines for all the wrong reasons at the moment after his controversial quenelle gesture for West Bromwich Albion.

And it’s a goal celebration that could prove costly for a number of reasons with the Frenchman facing a ban, while sponsors Zoopla have withdrawn their support.

With West Brom just 17/2 to go down, it may end up being a disastrous way to mark a goal – but he’s not alone in doing that.

Robbie Fowler

Though 120 goals in 236 games during his first stint Liverpool helped, Robbie Fowler ultimately secured his legendary status among Reds fans during a match with local rivals Everton in April 1999.

Having been subjected to taunts from Toffees fans, with many intimating that the forward had a drug habit, Fowler celebrated scoring in seemingly the only way he knew how – by dropping to his knees, on the white line of the penalty area, and simulating the use of cocaine.

But while fans were amused by his nose-dive antics, the FA and his club were not, with Fowler fined £60,000 and banned for four games.

If only they had listened to the explanation of Gerard Houllier, who claimed Fowler was merely engaging in a Cameroonian grass eating celebration taught to him by teammate Rigobert Song.

Paul Gascoigne

Never one to shy away from controversy, Gazza landed himself in hot water during a hotly contested Old Firm derby back in 1998 after scoring for then club Rangers.

Delighted at registering a goal during the biggest game in Scottish football, Gascoigne decided to mark the moment by playing an imaginary flute in front of the rival Celtic fans.

What the midfielder may not have quite realised, however, was the significance of this gesture, with the flute regarded by those north of the border as an instrument synonymous with Loyalism and hence something sure to flare up anger among supporters of the traditionally Catholic club Celtic.

Disciplined by Rangers and the SFA, Gazza even received death threats – he probably should have just stuck to the dentist’s chair routine.

Paolo Diogo

Some goal celebrations can be costly because players are left out of pocket, other times they may face a ban, but in the case of Paolo Diogo, it was a whole lot worse.

Back in December 2004 during a match for Servette, the player was having a whale of a time. Newly married and enjoying his football, the feel good factor really kicked in three minutes from time, with the midfielder setting up future Wigan star Jean Beausejour to score.

As his teammates rushed to celebrate, Diogo decided to jump up on the metal fence surrounding the pitch. What he failed to notice was that he was not only wearing his wedding ring, a big no-no in any sport, but also that the said ring had become caught in the fence.

He soon realised his mistake though, jumping off the fence but leaving the ring, and a large part of one of his fingers, there. Surgeons were unable to reattach the finger but for Diogo the real sore point of the incident was the yellow card he received from the referee during the game for time wasting.

Maurides

For years Sir Alex Ferguson warned Manchester United winger Nani about his elaborate backflip goal celebration and while the Portuguese trickster never fell fowl of his trademark moves the same cannot be said for Brazilian striker Maurides.

Like David Dunn before him, the Internacional man looks set to be forever remembered as one of the dumbest players on the planet after celebrating his first goal as a professional by sustaining a painful and entirely unnecessary injury.

2-1 up against America Mineiro in the Copa do Brasil, the youngster’s debut goal was supposed to the cherry on top of a fine performance. Instead, he was forced to withdraw with a sprained knee and a severely dented ego.

Edmilson Ferreira

Brazil appears to be a hotbed for downright stupid goal celebrations and while the likes of Tim Cahill and Temuri Ketsbaia were contenders, Edmilson Ferreira edges ahead of them for the sheer inventiveness of his effort.

Playing for club Atletico Mineiro in a heated match against neighbours America-Belo Horizonte, Edmilson landed himself in real trouble with the opposing team after scoring.

Nicknamed the Rabbits, America-Belo Horizonte’s players didn’t react too well the sight of the striker pulling a carrot from his shorts after his getting goal, with the forward subsequently munching on the aforementioned vegetable in a bid to wind-up his club’s rivals.

In truth it worked a little too well though, as opposition players opted to put Edmilson through the ringer for the remainder of the match, with one player spitting on him while another scythed him down with a robust challenge that resulted in a red card and ensured the forward would never be welcome back to the club again.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.