Dangerous goal celebrations

Obafemi Martins with his sommersault celebration trademark
Obafemi Martins with his sommersault celebration trademark
Photo credit: BBC

Sometimes over celebrating a goal can lead to injury.

A study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2005 looked at the causes of injuries in the Turkish league and found that nearly 6% were caused by goal celebrations.

"Over the duration of two playing seasons, 9 of the 152 players had injured themselves while performing a post-goal celebration. The injuries ranged from ligament and muscle strains as a result of 'Sliding' across the field to rib and clavicle fractures as a result of the players 'Piling Up' on each other. The most severe injury was an ankle fracture that required surgery. These injuries took place in 9 separate games where the field was natural turf and was dry in all but the incident requiring surgery. Although each patient was enrolled in an early rehabilitation program, the average playing time lost was 5 weeks."

And here are some famous cases in world football caused by over exuberant celebrations:

Lomana Lua Lua
In 2006, the DR Congo international was playing for Portsmouth against Arsenal. Having scored, he launched into his usual celebration, which consisted of multiple back-flips. This time, though, he sustained an ankle injury that put him out for three weeks.

Steve Morrow
In 2003, Tony Adams lifted Morrow, who had scored Arsenal's winner in the League Cup final against Sheffield Wednesday, with slightly too much enthusiasm and broke his arm. Morrow missed the rest of the season, including the FA Cup final victory over Wednesday.

Celestine Babayaro
In 1997, the Nigerian international joined Chelsea, but during a pre-season game against Stevenage he broke his leg while doing his trademark somersault goal celebration. Thus he couldn't make his league debut until months later.

Patrick Viera
In 1997, the Arsenal midfielder scored the second goal in a 3-2 win over Manchester United, slid extravagantly across the turf on his knees and suffered a bad injury that put him out of the team for the next five weeks.

Martin Palermo
In 2001, the Argentinian in extra-time for Villareal against Levante in the Copa del Rey and ran to the crowd to celebrate. His celebration was curtailed when a wall collapsed on him, breaking his tibia and fibula. Six months later he was back in action, but he missed the World Cup as a result.

Shaun Goater
In 2002, Goater celebrated a goal by Nicolas Anelka for Manchester City by kicking an ad board, but he injured his knee in the process and had to be subbed with Darren Huckerby. Some years previously in 1998, he broke his arm while celebrating a goal.

Paolo Diogo
In 2004, the Portuguese player leaped into the crowd to celebrate a goal for the Swiss club Servette. He caught his wedding ring on perimeter fencing and ripped off the top of his finger. The missing finger was found but surgeons were unable to reattach it.

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