Goal brings you everything you need to know about the Norwegian striker’s famous pose and what it means.
When you’re a striker who scores a lot of football goals, you tend to find yourself partying a lot. It used to be that society was perhaps less expressive – or at least less tolerant of overt displays of glee – and footballers were content to clap or hug their teammates.
Today, most players have their own celebrations, like Paul Pogba’s dab, Antoine Griezmann’s dance or Raul Jimenez’s mask. Erling Haaland, one of football’s rising stars, also has a special way of celebrating. But what exactly are they and what do they mean? GOAL take a look at it.
What is the Erling Haaland celebration?
Erling Haaland’s famous goal celebration involves sitting on the pitch, crossing his legs, touching his thumbs with his fingers and closing his eyes, as if in meditation or a yoga pose. Although he doesn’t celebrate all of his goals in this way, the performative nature of this particular celebration has meant that it has become synonymous with the Norwegian.
Indeed, Haaland performed the celebration at Red Bull Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, meaning it’s now an integral part of his image. So, like Cristiano Ronaldo and his famous “Siii!”, Haaland, a real pretender to the throne of the Portuguese star, has already developed a method of scoring goals that reinforces the brand image.
At the start of 2020, Paris Saint-Germain players, led by Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, derisively performed en masse in Haaland’s famous celebration after their Champions League Round of 16 win over Dortmund. . The PSG stars’ decision to celebrate their victory in this way was prompted by a photo that made the rounds on social media, showing Haaland with the words “Paris, my city, not yours”.
Whether the message was authentic or not is unknown, but it was enough to provoke Neymar and others, who amused themselves by rubbing the nose of the young striker in defeat. After leading the derisory reply on the lawn of the Parc des Princes, the Brazilian striker also posted a message on his Instagram page, declaring haughtily: “Paris, our city, not yours”.
The mockery was not viewed favorably outside of Paris. Former England striker Gary Lineker said it was a “lack of class”, a stance that resonated with many fans and footballing figures. Nonetheless, PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe defended the gesture, saying Dortmund showed a “lack of humility” after winning the first leg.
“After their home win, they put out a lot of tweets, a lot of Instagrams, a lot of words, a lot of this and that.“, an outraged Kimpembe told RMC Sport. “It allowed us to have this little rage in a corner of our head and we took advantage of it.”
Either way, the fact that the PSG stars, most of whom are Haaland seniors, saw fit to use this particular celebration shows just how well known it had become in such a short time. In late 2022, Green Bay Packers star Allen Lazard celebrated a touchdown against the New York Giants by striking a pose.
What does celebrating Erling Haaland mean?
Erling Haaland’s celebration is a reproduction of a famous Zen pose that is commonly used in various meditative practices, including yoga. It is known as the lotus pose or Sukhasana in yoga and is believed to help an individual find their zen.
Asked by Esporte Interativo what this pose means in the context of football, Haaland explained: “I like meditation a lot. It makes me feel calm and gives me peace of mind. That’s why I sometimes celebrate like that when I score a goal.” Haaland is not the only footballer to incorporate yoga poses into his catalog of goal celebrations. Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah occasionally performs a celebration based on the “tree” position in yoga.
What is Erling Haaland’s celebration of social distancing?
When the 2019-20 Bundesliga season resumed amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Haaland celebrated a goal for Dortmund with a nod to social distancing. The Norwegian opened the scoring in Revierderby’s win over Schalke in May, sending his side to a 4-0 victory, and his celebration was remarkable because the team stayed away in such a friendly moment.
The Dortmund players went about two meters apart and celebrated the goal with a quiet dance in an empty Signal-Iduna Park. “You have to find a way to make the best of the situation and have fun”ex-Haaland team-mate Julian Brandt said of the post-match celebration.
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