Tuesday, 28/03/2023 09:05

The Local Game: When celebrating goes wrong

Trần Hồng Kiên is attended to after hurting himself. Photo

Peter Cowan

Creativity is something that is slowly being squeezed out of football across the world.

Players are only getting bigger and stronger, while tactical systems are only getting more complex and rigid.

Sure, the Manchester Citys of the world play some beautiful football, but it often feels very sterile, as if there’s no room for a maverick creator to do something a bit different.

Sadly, it seems this stifling of the creative spirit has now extended to goal celebrations.

Last week, a young Vietnamese footballer achieved some viral ignominy for injuring himself while copying Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7)’s trademark celebration.

For those who are blissfully unaware of just how CR7 celebrates every penalty and tap-in, the Portuguese star performs a mid-air pirouette before shouting "siu", which originates from the Spanish for “yes”.

Trần Hồng Kiên of Viettel’s U17 team scored in the final of the National U17 Championship last week and his mind immediately went to Ronaldo.

However after landing, Kiên fell to the floor in pain and eventually had to be stretchered off, clearly having hurt himself while landing the celebration.

In true Ronaldo fashion the goal itself was far less athletically challenging than the celebration, requiring a simple tap-in from Kiên, which is part of why I have no aspersions when it comes to making fun of this teenager for injuring himself doing something so daft.

It’s not enough that plenty of other athletes and fans alike have hurt themselves doing the “siu” but Ronaldo himself reportedly injured his knee in 2021 after cracking out the celebration.

However aside from being silly for taking on unnecessary injury risk, isn’t it a bit lame to be copying any player’s celebration, but especially Ronaldo’s?

Let’s face facts – Cristiano’s best days are behind him and he’s not aging gracefully.

Finishing his career in Saudi Arabia after no top European club wanted him is bad enough, but how childishly he acted during a poor World Cup for his country should have confirmed just how uncool this aging forward is.

What I would like to see is young players like Kiên getting a bit more creative and coming up with their own celebrations instead of copying aging crybabies.

Who knows, Vietnamese football may even go viral across the world for the right reasons if players can get creative enough, instead of only making headlines when something brainless has gone on. — VNS

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