The Top 10 Best Corner Flag Celebrations in Soccer
The Top 10 Best Corner Flag Celebrations in Soccerl
You've seen the scene so many times. A soccer player, usually a striker, lands the ball in the old onion bag and then goes on a run.
Many aim for the stands to celebrate with their fans or alternatively to wind-up the opposition fans.
Other will run to their team-mates or head for the dug-out to celebrate with the manager, backroom staff and substitutes.
So many however have this strange compulsion to make a bee-line for the nearest corner flag. Not only that but when they get there some strange behaviour takes place.
Here are 10 of the best from what Pele called 'The Beautiful Game'.
10. The 'Crooner'
Striking a pose inspired by the old school easy-listening singers at a vintage microphone.
That was the heyday of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and a host of other songsters of the jazz, swing and big band period.
At least Bastian Schweinsteiger of German giants Bayern Munich proves one thing.
That it's not only Harry Connick Jnr who can make that look fashionable in the modern era.
You can almost hear him singing 'I Get a Kick Out of You' to the adoring crowd urging them to sing along and party.
Apparently this is one many such novelties in his repertoire and a goal from Bastian usually excites anticipation of what he'll get up to next over in the corner.
9. The Lampard Spin
One that has passed down the generations.
In a memorable moment in 1980 the photo on the right depicts left-back Frank Lampard of West Ham.
He executed a quick spin around the flag in anti-clockwise direction.
He had just scored against Everton in an FA Cup semi-final replay at Elland Road so no surprise that he lost the plot.
On the left many years later is his son and namesake who did the same thing for Chelsea and again it was against Everton in the cup. It was entirely deliberate and dedicated to his father. A fine tribute to one of his Dad's greatest moments.
8. The Cahill Punch
Named after Australian Tim Cahill of Everton who first introduced it into the English Premier League in season 2005-6.
Although even he was honest enough to admit that it was one of his team mates that gave him the idea.
However in this photo we actually have the granny-loving Wayne Rooney of Manchester United.
The Cahill moments were really no more than gentle sparring with the stationary pole. It did however become his trademark. But here Rooney takes things a stage further and lands a real haymaker with a fantastic punch. But no doubt he was fleet of foot when the flag sprung back in automatic retaliation.
7. The Striker Bootkick
Here's an example of using the extremities that come naturally to soccer players.
Well on the field anyway.
Eschewing the 'Cahill Punch' the Norwegian striker John Carew of Aston Villa uses his trusty right leg.
Normally reserved for penalties, free kicks and, dare I say, corner kicks too is it not?
Although with his tall height he's normally at the the receiving end of them. But with not a defender in sight, with plenty of time, loads of space and a right good run-up Carew makes full contact with his devastating right foot.
6. The Karate Kick
The kicking action can also be taken one stage further.
In Italy the attacking midfielder Diego of Juventus launches himself onto the corner flag after scoring against Inter Milan.
As you will see it looks like a complete knock-out with one blow by the Brazilian. Perhaps inspired by Eric Cantona but wisely not choosing to try it out on a spectator.
The corner flag is prostrate and lifeless on the pitch with no signs of getting back up. This surely goes to prove that football players enter a transient state of temporary madness on the scoring of that all important goal. The man obviously went bonkers with exhilaration.
5. The Grass-eater
We are staying with the black and white stripes for our next example.
But it couldn't be in starker contrast to the preceding.
Instead of the flag being flat on the ground it's Norberto Solano of Newcastle United who seems to be sleeping on the job.
Perhaps a religious ceremony giving thanks to Allah although considering he's Peruvian a genuflection with a quick sign of the cross would be more likely.
Whatever the reason Solano's grass-eating position hasn't really took off although the frontal slide along the pitch is a more common occurrence amongst the football fraternity. But an original entry nonetheless.
4. The Multiple Pile Up
An extension of the horizontal theme comes courtesy of the Dutch.
With their usual free spiritedness they don't think twice about piling in on top of each other in an orange squash.
And unsurprisingly given their open-minded and liberal social values they're not averse to a quick kiss and a cuddle when they're down there either.
This is however highly ironic since the Holland national side are notorious for bad behaviour at major finals. Talk of dressing room bust-ups, training ground fall-outs and general petty in-fighting and arguments.
Heartening to see that they can make-up on the field. We are not certain of the identity of the goalscorer under there but we're sure he's having a good time.
3. The Standard Bearer
Nathan Tyson was the perpetrator of a famous corner flag moment in 2009.
The Nottingham Forest player actually uprooted the pole and ran off with it.
A rallying call to the troops to march on into battle. Which was certainly the case as opposition team Derby County went absolutely livid.
This is a particularly good pose if your team are behind and you want to inspire them to more goals and ultimate victory. It also really winds up the fans of the other team.
But it is definitely frowned upon by the suits in the boardrooms and will probably get you charged with abuse of the corner flag. Perhaps even an on-the-spot yellow card from the referee. Technically it perhaps shouldn't be in this list as he actually did it after the final whistle. But that's a minor detail.
2. The Aldrin Salute
An unusual entry into this Top 10 list.
It is commonly misconceived that in the 1969 space mission Buzz Aldrin was paying tribute to the stars and stripes in this photo.
The truth is he had been playing football with Neil Armstrong.
Not only that but due to the lack of gravity up there he was actually able to take the corner kick himself.
Whilst the ball came slowly down to Moon he bounded over to the goal. He arrived just in time to out-jump Armstrong in goal and head it into the net.
The Americans have not been keen on publicising this event as baseball, basketball and of course American Football were considered much more appropriate. Armstrong may have been the first man to step onto the Moon but Aldrin will forever be remembered as the first man on the Moon to head home his own corner kick.
1. The Milla Dance
You would imagine that it would be hard to beat Buzz Aldrin's incredible moment.
However none can compare with the famous dance by Roger Milla of Cameroon in 1990.
It's impossible to wiggle like that in a spacesuit
The then 38-year old Milla's celebration after scoring against Colombia in the 'Italia 90' World Cup has earned him legendary status. He has inspired many footballers but has never been truly imitated or bettered. The Peter Crouch 'Robot Dance' is a poor second and rarely happens at the corner flag anyway.
He even returned for the next World Cup in 1994 in the USA and at the age of 42 became the oldest player in the history of the tournament to score a goal in the finals. But that impromptu boogie will always be how he's remembered.
So there you have it. Ten of the best corner flag celebrations in the modern era of Association Football, or indeed soccer, whichever you prefer to call it. As you have seen it crosses many borders and includes many nationalities. It even happened on the Moon.
So enjoy the 'Beautiful Game' and keep your eyes peeled for that magical performance. That moment when the net billows, the crowd roars and the normally anonymous corner flag enjoys its 15 seconds of fame.