Soccer is an unpredictable sport that can bring out a flood of emotions in fans and players alike. Goal celebrations are a huge part of a soccer game, allowing players and supporters to revel in the joys of the beautiful game.
If you’ve been watching soccer for long enough, there’s a good chance you’ve seen soccer players kiss each other. This usually happens after a game or during goal celebrations when players can’t hold back their delight.
This article discusses soccer celebrations, digging into the reasoning behind certain celebrations and traditions. We’ll discuss a range of topics, including:
- The culture of kissing in soccer
- Kissing as a social culture
- The importance of celebrating goals
- Famous celebrations
Why Do Soccer Players Kiss Each Other?
Soccer players kiss to congratulate each other on a big win or an important goal. There’s no denying that the most exciting parts of a soccer game are the goals.
The sight of a ball hitting the back of the net sends fans into a frenzy. Stadiums erupt, with match-goers cheering, singing, and embracing their fellow fans in celebration.
Goal celebrations aren’t just enjoyed in stadiums, however. People watching games on TV have been known to celebrate wildly alongside friends and family. Whether you’re at a local bar or on your living room sofa, there’s nothing quite like supporting your favorite team.
The rush of goalscoring and winning is even greater for the players, particularly when they’re being cheered on by their home fans.
- Although kissing friends isn’t necessarily common in the United States, it is a standard greeting in certain cultures. In many European and Latin American regions, people may even kiss when they are introduced for the first time.
Soccer Kiss FAQs
What Countries Do People Kiss Each Other As Friends?
Cheek kissing is a social ritual that exists on virtually every continent. People kiss friends, family, and sometimes someone they’re being introduced to, as a greeting, a mark of respect, or to congratulate them.
Kissing is a standard greeting in Continental (mainland) Europe, Latin America, and some parts of South East Asia. Depending on the region, the number of kisses varies from one to three.
Although women kiss men and other women in many of these cultures, it is less common for men to kiss other men, unless they are close friends or family. Instead, they tend to opt for a handshake.
However, in certain regions, it is very common for men to kiss each other when they meet or to congratulate one another. Countries where men frequently kiss include:
These countries are steeped in soccer history. Perhaps the comfortability and familiarity of kissing friends are some of the main reasons it has transitioned into the game of soccer. In certain countries, people exchange different numbers of kisses depending on the occasion.
For example, in the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, Flanders, people kiss once to greet one another, and three times in a celebration, like a birthday, or after a goal!
Kissing Culture In The United States
While cheek kissing isn’t as routinely practiced in the United States, it is quite common. In the US, cheek kissing is often viewed as a formal or romantic gesture.
Hugs and handshakes are more standard among friends when they meet or congratulate one another. However, cheek kissing culture is common among families of immigrants, who continue to carry on their traditions from generation to generation .
Goal celebrations are a fun part of a soccer game, allowing players, coaches, and fans to share the most enjoyable aspect of the sport.
Many players become known for their elaborate celebrations. Kylian Mbappe is famous for his folded arm gesture, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals are swiftly followed by echoes of “Siiuuu” around the stadium.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has provided some of the more creative goal celebrations in recent years. As well as his signature front flip, he often incorporates props, like the Black Panther mask.
Kissing is also a common theme in goal celebrations:
What Does It Mean When Soccer Players Kiss Their Wrist?
Players often kiss their wrists in a goal celebration if they have meaningful tattoos. Many pros have tattoos that are dedicated to their loved ones.
Since the camera focuses primarily on the goal scorer during a celebration, it provides them with an opportunity to show their affection to their family, spouse, children, or the person to whom the tattoo is dedicated.
- Former Manchester City and Spain striker, Alvaro Negredo kisses his wrist and bicep after every goal.
His wrist tattoo contains the initials of his brothers and parents. His wife and daughter’s initials are tattooed on his bicep.
Why Do Soccer Players Kiss Their Ring Finger?
Soccer players kiss their ring fingers to dedicate a goal to their spouse. Players like Raúl González (Real Madrid) and Rivaldo (Barcelona & AC Milan) famously kissed their ring fingers after every goal, saluting their other halves.
In the modern game, Luis Suarez is known for his unique kissing routine following a goal. Suarez begins his celebration by kissing his ring finger. He then kisses a tattoo on his wrist that’s dedicated to his daughter, Delfina.
Finally, he kisses three different fingers, representing each of his wife and two kids.
What Does Sucking Thumb Mean In Soccer?
Soccer players often suck their thumb after scoring to dedicate their goal to their baby or young child. It is a playful type of celebration that may catch their child’s attention if they are watching the game on TV.
Why Do Soccer Players Kiss The Badge?
Soccer players kiss the badge on their jersey to demonstrate affection or loyalty to their team. Badge kissing is more common in international games than in domestic competitions.
For many players, representing their country is a dream come true. After scoring an international goal, players kiss their badges to show their passion and emotion.
Ahead of a crunch game in the 2014 World Cup group stage, Cristiano Ronaldo spoke about what it meant to represent his country:
“I’m ready to lose my life if that’s what Portugal needs to win. I’ll play vs USA even if I play with one leg.”Cristiano Ronaldo, 2014
It’s no wonder Cristiano is the record goalscorer in association soccer, with over 800 goals and counting!
In derby games between rival teams, players sometimes kiss their badges to excite or rile up the crowd.
Enjoy this fun collection of famous goal celebrations!
Why Do Athletes Kiss The Trophy?
The long tradition of trophy kissing is yet another way to express happiness, gratefulness, and pride at completing a sporting achievement.
A trophy represents the end goal and is the ultimate symbol of accomplishment. It is a physical reward for winning, reminding athletes of all the hard work and sacrifices they made to be successful.
Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.