In it's rawest form football is a game that's all about scoring more goals than the opposition. Hitting the back of the net is what counts the most, and where there is a goal there is predominantly a celebration. The only exceptions tend to be when some players score against their former clubs, or (usually) when a team scores a consolation in an otherwise dispiriting performance.
So in honour of goal celebrations, our Ed. takes a look at 5 examples threatening to make an appearance at Euro 2016, that are in need of being taken back to the drawing board...
Now don't get me wrong, an original goal celebration is always welcome. But Daniel Sturridge has been doing that shit dance celebration for a few years now, and it hasn't exactly grown old like a fine wine. Instead the Liverpool striker occasionally adds his sticking out tongue to the repertoire, something that tends to look pretty stupid when you go on to lose the game, like what happened in the recent Europa League final.
I've got a great idea for a goal celebration, said the Welsh wonder back around 2010, I'll make a heart shape with my hands and dedicate it to my partner. Awww, said practically no one. Whilst it was a nice gesture to begin with, Bale has since somewhat eroded the original sentiment and gone on to milk this for all it's worth, actually getting trademark for the '11 of hearts'.
I'd attribute more artistic merit & creative thought to a Kilner jar full of my own urine!
Now this one may seem a little harsh, because in all fairness his double-twisting backflip is kind of impressive. However, there are caveats, firstly the danger of a self-imposed injury, much like LuaLua managed when playing for Portsmouth in 2006. And secondly, the fact that Nani has spent his entire career trying to deceive fans into thinking he's a top footballer. He isn't. And I'll never know how he was able to spend the best part of 8 years at Manchester United.
Even when the veteran talisman was a lot more sprightly, his forward roll and gunman combination was one of those goal celebrations to make you chuckle. Now that he's 35, it's something we see a lot less, probably in case he pulls a hamstring or something. But it does still make the occasional reappearance, and if Keane scores at Euro 2016, there's a good chance the Irishman will dust it off and make us smile again.
Finally (and more seriously)...
On Saturday evening England faced Russia in their opening match of Euro 2016, and to many fans' surprise, they actually played pretty well. To my mind it was the best, most complete England performance in a tournament since Euro 2004. That being said, England still managed to throw away a deserved win in the final minute and the game ended 1-1.
In the 5-10 minutes leading up to the Russian equaliser, their fans had been responsible for letting off flares and fireworks, one of which provided a huge, unnerving bang over the TV coverage. After Berezutski had scored and the final whistle went, a significant number of Russian fans swarmed towards the England fans behind the goal where Joe Hart stood. The scenes were worrying to say the least, with England fans clambering over fencing and a potential crush being a concern.
If that's how you think you should act in a football stadium at any point, let alone after your team has scored, then you are a cowardly dickhead. And thanks to Sepp Blatter & co. at FIFA, the next World Cup will be held in this homophobic country, where a large number of local fans are obsessed with rivalling England hooligans of the 1980's.
It looks increasingly likely that 2018 will be one World Cup to stay away from...