There are many derivatives of passion and one should not get confused. If you feel strongly about something which makes the hairs on your body stand on end and inspires you from inside, then you know it’s a good feeling, the right kind of feeling. But passion can also take control which could lead to trouble, when it gets the better of you in moments of intensity. With the recent pathetic attempts by the footballing authorities (the FA) to eliminate passion from the game by banning footballers who swear, I thought it presented me with a great opportunity to explore the different facets of the celebration, style of play and actions and moments driven by feelings. I have divided the categories and placed the most appropriate players and managers connected to the English game (as current as possible) into their respective categories. I’m sure I haven’t thought of everyone so any comments and additions are welcome! Enjoy.
This bunch express utter delight and just let lose when they score or their team scores. There are no cruel intentions here, just pure elation. Yes, most players tend to scream when they score, but this lot seem to show it just a little bit more.
- Wayne Rooney
The guy is simple. He loves football and just wants to play all the time. But he gets himself in trouble for over expressing his passion at times (I’m not exploring the swearing incident). However, one cannot doubt his true passion for the game, the ecstasy he feels when he scores a winning goal can be seen by this guy’s scream. He loves it.
- Rafael Van Der Vaart
A great singing for Spurs this season, VDV has scored crucial goals and contributed massively to the overall team performance. Every time he scores he loves it, grabs his shirt, shouts and screams with elation. Love to see it.
- Jamie Carragher
This guy is Liverpool through and through, his undoubted passion and commitment to the cause is admirable and any young professional should look at him and learn. He is always happy to express his delight when his team scores, and loves a good scream (mostly at his own teammates). He never goes down unless he is really injured and even when he is, it takes a lot to keep him off the field. Respect.
- Gary Neville
Though now retired he is definitely worth a mention, this ex-United captain was hated by rivals, but loved by his own fans. He was never short of displaying his passion for his club, most notably when he was charged by the FA for over celebrating United’s last minute victory over Liverpool. He grabbed his badge in front of the away support and screamt with joy. The expression “United till I die” very much applies here.
These two players prefer to express their passion for their goal celebration through dance, placing emphasis on structure and finesse. Enjoyable to watch and quite unique, they obviously love to dance.
- Asamoah Gyan
A truly colourful character with only good intentions, Gyan has been a revelation for Sunderland, with his whole hearted performances and his goal scoring prowess earning him a very credible Premier League reputation. Let’s not forget his ability to celebrate those goals too! After each goal, Gyan manages to put on his dancing shoes for all to see. He means well, and is very entertaining.
- Peter Crouch
Im digging a bit here and even though it was for England, the tall Spurs striker created one of the most awkwardly funny dances to have graced the football scene. The Robot. What a joke, I cannot take him seriously anymore since that dance. Hilarious though.
The Badge Kissers:
Now this one is a touchy subject. We all know of the players who claim to love their clubs, have nothing but respect and want to spend the rest of their careers at that club. Mere months later, money, greed or just stupidity lures them elsewhere. This is hilarious, sad and disturbing all at the same time. It displays the fickle, selfish and greedy nature of footballers, with very few remaining with their clubs throughout their career.
- Gary Neville (again) – the right way
I begin this section by starting off with the now retired, this ex-United captain (again) who was hated by rivals, but loved by his own fans. Say what you want about Gazza, but he has passion alright; he loves his club and would never, ever, jump ship. He kissed, hugged, grabbed and bit the badge so many times I lost count. Untied through and through, Gary’s unrivalled passion cannot be matched by most.
- Emmanuel Adebayor – the disloyal pig
While playing for the Gunners in a pre-season friendly in 2008, Adebayor kissed the Arsenal badge, which surely indicated his true love and respect for the club. A few months later into the season, he was quoted as saying: “I am happy AC Milan, one of the legendary clubs in the world, were looking at me. For me that must be something special.” By the end of that campaign, all he wanted was a move elsewhere, with United or Chelsea his preferred choices. We didn’t want him; neither did the Chelski, so he went to City because they could pay his wages. Now is he at Madrid. No loyalty, no respect.
- Wayne Rooney – unfortunately, a scouser at heart
As a United fan it’s tough to write this one but considering his recent contract saga, I believe the scouser qualities within Mr Rooney came to the fore. Back when playing for Everton’s youth side, Wayne Rooney revealed a t-shirt which read ‘once a blue, always a blue’. When United came knocking on the door, those loyalties flew out the window and he jumped at the opportunity. His actions did not go down well on Merseyside, with the fans of his former club singing “Die, die, Rooney, Rooney, die!” every time the teams meet. In response to all the abuse he has received, Rooney kissed the United badge at Goodison Park in October 2008. Then there was his transfer saga at United. Another story entirely, in short he ended up staying but his loyalty has come under scrutiny.
- Cesc Fabregas – wants to go home to his boyhood club
At the start of the 09-10 season, Cesc kissed Arsenal’s badge amidst rumours he was going to leave for Barcelona. “Which player would not like to play for a team like that at the moment?” Fabregas had said that summer. “They are probably the best team that I have seen play in history and I have a lot friends there who are always telling me great things. Of course, you feel envy in a healthy way because of the way they play football. Everyone’s dream would be to play in a team like this.”If you are an Arsenal fan, how do you feel knowing your captain does not want to play for your club, his dream is to play for his boyhood club and its only a matter of time before he leaves? He may love Arsenal and he does respect them, but stop kissing the badge Cesc!
The Wise Ones:
These two are just top of the pops in my eyes. They have the drive, the motivation and the understanding to stir their teams into action and deliver powerful talks. Yes, the one has actually won trophies, but the other’s true passion cannot be questioned.
- Sir Alex Ferguson
No article would be complete without the mention of the legendary character for the right reasons. He has been at the helm of one of the world’s biggest clubs for 25 years, won every trophy possible and at 67 years old still wakes up every morning with the same hunger, passion and desire to succeed. A true champion of the game, his legacy will stand the test of time. The infamous “hairdryer” treatment has been dished out on many an occasion to any star player, no matter how big they think they are, Fergie will never shy again from a good old tongue lashing.
- Ian Holloway
I cannot describe in a short paragraph what I think of this true legend and character. Passion flows through his body, he means everything he says and always gives 100%. What a man! A straight shooter, blunt as fuck, calls it as it is, but it’s the way he says it which really gets me going. If Blackpool manages to stay up, I promise you it will be mainly due to him. I would love to hear his halftime team talks!
The Pigs, Psychopaths & Dirty Players:
We all know them; there are plenty out there, the ruthless individuals who care little for anyone else’s safety other than their own. Some of these guys are real pigs, some are just rough and some really are not right in the head!
- Mario Balotelli
The biggest pig I have ever seen in my life. Never out of trouble (which he brings entirely on himself), this selfish money grabbing whore hurtful disrespectful kunt (and im being kind here) could not give less of a fuck about anyone but himself. A virus in that City team, I don’t know how his teammates handle him. Worst part of it all, Balotelli is a selfish wanker who does not care about his club (or anyone else); his actions after the final whistle in the cup game were done intentionally to inflict pain, hurt and anger toward opposing fans which mean they were for personal satisfaction. A deeply disturbed pig of note.
- Joey Barton
Where to begin with this one -his career and life have been marked by numerous controversial incidents and disciplinary problems, twice been convicted on charges of violence. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment for assault and affray. He once caused bodily harm to a teammate in a training session. One could say that Joey Barton is not the nicest guy in football.
Other noteworthy mentions:
- Lee Bowyer – most yellow cards dirty
- Lee Cattermole – filthy dirty
- Nigel De Jong – studs up dirty
- Karl Henry – mistimed dirty
- Patrick Vieira – old school dirty
- Paul Scholes – unintentionally dirty
- Craig Bellamy – disgracefully dirty
- Robbie Savage – a higher level of dirty
- Roy Keane – the dirtiest of them all (there’s only one Keano!)
This lot love a good cry, always moaning and groaning about luck, refs or just expressing their own selfish beliefs ahead of the team. They love pointing a finger at anyone but themselves.
- Arsene Wenger
Loves the blame game. See this latest article to back me up (http://therepublikofmancunia.com/wenger-blames/). Never looks at his teams own faults, always shifts the blame onto someone or something else. Maybe that’s why the Gunners haven’t won anything in so long- it’s time to start looking at himself and his team.
- William Gallas
When his team (Arsenal back then) had just lost a crucial game in the title race, instead of showing leadership qualities and rallying his troops, this selfish Frenchman decided to sit in the middle of the St Andrews pitch and sulk, like a little baby. He has thrown this toys out his cot on plenty other occasions, there was even talk of him threatening to score an own goal if Chelsea did not put him up for sale. Wanker.
- Didier Drogba
Should we go back to the television rant old Drogba did in the Champions League? Known also as a diver, his guy is constantly moaning and putting on a show. Never happy unless he personally scores, Didier throws his toys out the cot on more than the odd occasion. “Fucking Disgrace”.
- Mario Balotelli
I refuse to give this pig anymore attention, he does not deserve it, but he most definitely belongs in this category.
The Facial Expressions:
Don’t you just love colourful characters, players whose feelings can easily be read from the expression on their face. These two love to make their feeling seen through personal expressions which makes it really fun.
Ando, he literally looks like he is going to cry every time he loses the ball! I have never come across someone with a more expressive face in football. A truly hilarious site, Ando!
- Andrey Arshavin
This little Russian’s facial expression when he scores a goal is most times shown with disbelief, looking shocked that he has scored! Let us not forget his best moment in the league when he scored 4 at Anfield, swinging his hand past his face over and over again, looking shocked at what he had done! There is also the infamous “Shhh” finger over mouth sign which he actually shows to both his own fans and rival fans. Weird.
The Cry Baby:
- John Terry
Do I need to remind everyone of which specific occasion I am referring to? Russia, Moskow, Champs League Final, Penalty Shoot-Out, Chance to lead his team to victory by scoring the penalty- ring any bells? The Chelsea captain cried like a baby girl after United eventually won. Take it.
The Memorable Celebrations:
Here is just a list of some funny/unique celebrations.
- Nicholas Anelka
Anelka displays handcuffs towards the French Football Federation referring to the chaos that surrounded France’s pathetic World Cup 2010 campaign
- Emmanuel Adebayor (again)
As mentioned in the badge kissing category, Adebayor is a disloyal prick who just wants to go where the money is. When the opportunity came for him to play for his new club against his old one, in one match he managed to kick Van Persie (his former striker partner) in the head, after which when he scored a goal he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans after scoring, which resulted in a 3 match ban. What a disgrace.
- Craig Bellamy
Facing allegations that he threatened his then Liverpool team-mate John Arne Riise, with a golf club, Bellamy scored in a match against Barcelona and celebrated by acting out a golf swing. This guy was never far away from trouble and this typifies the kind of bloke he is, a shit stirrer.
Other Classics Worth a Mention:
- Tim Cahill – The Corner flag boxing joust. Fighter.
- Robbie Keane – the infamous gymnastic style rolley-polley somersault. Airhead.
- Nani – Back in the day when he first arrived at OT, Nani used to celebrate goals by doing a backwards somersault. Fergie did not approve. The somersault is no more. Elimination.
- Robbie Fowler - celebrated his penalty against Everton by getting down to his hands and knees and miming the snorting of cocaine off the white touchline. Classy.
- Eric Cantona - famously celebrated a goal against Sunderland in the 1996-1997 season by standing still, holding his chest out and presenting a blank expression. Legend.
Every single player to have ever played football!!