The entire purpose of careening down the field, blocking strikers and tearing past defense is to make a goal. This is true in all sports and especially in soccer. Players are lauded and made famous by the goals they score, especially in a heated tournament like the World Cup. The goal celebration, the frolicking performance that follows the goal, is also a traditional part of competitive soccer.
Why the Goal? Why Soccer?
There are many physical benefits to playing soccer; one must have great endurance in addition to react quickly. It’s a great source of aerobic exercise and can be a great way to stay in shape or get in shape. In addition to the physical aspect, character building is part of all organized sports, including soccer. Being part of a team helps to promote social interaction, teamwork and leadership skills.
The whole purpose of the game itself, apart from its social, physical and mental benefits, is to score a goal on the opposite team’s goal. This is what the team is working together for and what they celebrate when they have achieved the goal!
Famous Goal Celebrations
Soccer goals are counted whenever the ball makes over the goal line and past the goalie and the striker is the position responsible for attempting to score on the goal. After a goal has been made, the player responds with obvious enthusiasm and will celebrate. Sliding on their knees or arms outstretching, running to mimic a plane are two specific types of reactions made famous in soccer. Some players will even perform an acrobatic move, such as flipping over backwards like the Mexican player Hugo Sanchez.
What is interesting and unique to soccer are symbolic celebrations that thank someone special to the player. Kissing the ring finger is a tribute to a spouse and sucking the thumb is a salute to the player’s children. Teammates will also participate in the celebrations by kneeling down and pretending to polish the goal scorer’s shoe or embracing them en masse. For some players, making that goal can be an intensely emotional experience and it is not unusual to see a soccer player crying, shouting or even screaming in response.
What cannot be denied is that soccer goals are both entertaining and memorable and it is easy to get caught up with the team in their celebration. Try watching any game and see if you don’t jump up and shout too when that goal is made!