K-Advent Day 17 – Goal Celebrations
Growing up watching football back in the UK when a player scored a goal he would usually celebrate with his teammates or with his fans in a natural act of spontaneous glee, or absolute disbelief, that he hadn’t skied it over the bar. As we progressed into the 2000s a worrying trend of rehearsed celebrations began to emerge from the Crouch ‘Robot’ the Torres’ ‘sniper’ to the utterly detestable ‘I heart you’. Thankfully this is a trend that’s not really been copied, boxed and shipped to the K-League quite like some others…well not to the same extent at least which considering the Korean penchant for adding a pose to a moment is quite surprising. We in the K-League are however not immune to such contrived displays. At Seongnam we have Hwang Uijo who tends to point to the skies after scoring which is probably in recognition of the plethora of chances he missed before finally making the net bulge. Recently departed nomadic hero Server Djeparov had his back-flip, FC Seoul’s newest number 10 Park Chu Young likes to pray after scoring which is probably the only thing he likes doing on a football field. Finally we have Lee Keun Ho who seems to have enjoyed his stint in the military so much that he still salutes no matter in which colours he scores.
Of course not all goal celebrations are limited to those who actually create or score the goal. All over the world football fans have come up with unique ways to show their unbridled pleasure at their heroes hitting the back of the net. These range from turning away from the field of play and linking arms to join in a display of unity and emotion, some feel the heat of the moment too much to take and are left with no other option but to shed clothing while others find a good old-fashioned taunting of the opposition the best way to salute the ‘man of the moment’. Korean fans are probably known as being a tad more reserved than their European counterparts and as such several club’s fans take the route of singing a ‘celebration song’ together once the general post-goal melee has calmed down. Not all fans take this route though and those of an FC Seoul-loving persuasion have their own unique celebration. It generally comes in two parts with the first being akin to something out of a Village People video as the fans wave their arms around in unison. The second stage though does go some way towards redeeming them from their first stage indiscretions as they link arms and jump from side to side while bowing. It is a pretty cool sight at times, that is unless you happen to be on the receiving end of such display.
Of course the flip side of having such a ‘trademarked’ show of happiness when you or your team score is that your rivals will use it against you. Watching your foes bask in your misery is never palatable but when they throw your own celebration back in your face no hole opening up is big enough!