6 Interesting Goal Celebration Gestures In Soccer

Goal celebrations in soccer are some of the wildest ones in the sports world. If you’ve watched a few soccer celebrations, you already know what I am talking about.

Some of these celebrations are generic celebrations that are used by many soccer players to simply express their excitement (the knee slide celebration for example), while other celebrations hold some other meanings and messages behind them.

Our focus in this article is on the celebrations that hold some meanings behind them, since these are the ones that can sometimes be confusing to the fans.

With that said, here is a list of some of the unique actions that the soccer players do that serve more than just a simple goal celebration:

  • Kissing their wrist.
  • Kissing their ring finger
  • Putting their thumb in their mouth
  • Putting their fingers in their ears
  • Putting their hands behind their ears
  • Using the silence gesture

But the question is, what do each of these actions mean and why are they used by some soccer players after scoring goals?

The rest of this article will be answering that and discussing the significance of each one of them.

Why do soccer players kiss their wrists?

Luis Suarez, one of the best strikers in soccer, is known for kissing his wrist after scoring a goal. Other players do it too, but why exactly?

Well, soccer players like Luis Suarez and others kiss their wrists generally to honor whatever their wrist tattoos mean to them, and these tattoos are usually ones that represent the player’s loved ones. In other words, the players kiss their wrist tattoos and not just their wrist for the sake of kissing it.

For example, Luis Suarez has his daughter’s name on his wrist.  When he kisses his wrist, he is actually kissing his daughter’s name which can be seen as an excellent gesture by many people.

The same thing applies for many of the other players that usually kiss their wrists as a form of celebration for scoring a goal.

Why do soccer players kiss their ring finger?

Some soccer players kiss their ring finger to express their love and respect to their life partner / spouse. There are players who do it before/after some personal life events, and there are others that do it all the time to show the endless love and support that they have to their partner.

If the partner of the soccer player is standing in the stadium watching the game live, then the player might also decide to point at them after they kiss their ring finger.

Why do soccer players put their thumb in their mouth?

Well, this celebration too revolves around the player’s family. Many soccer players have done it before, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the best soccer players in their era.

The players put their thumb in their mouth to refer to their new born baby, or to their upcoming baby in case the baby hasn’t been born yet. Some of them do it to just pay tribute to their child in general even if they have been born after a while.

There have also been some players who have done it to celebrate a new born baby in their family that is not necessarily theirs.

It’s worth noting that the thumb gesture is not the only way that soccer players celebrate a newborn or a family member.

For example, some of them place the ball under their shirt to celebrate pregnancy, while others move their arms from side to side as if they are swinging a baby.

However, before moving on to the next celebration, it is worth mentioning that the thumb celebration is not always used to refer to a new child in the family. 

Some soccer players put their thumb in their mouth to indicate that scoring the goal was very easy or was a child’s play.

Why do soccer players put their fingers in their ears?

Players like Memphis Depay are known for their “fingers in their ears” celebration. It is the player’s trademark celebration.

However, this celebration has also been used by many other soccer players around the world including Coutinho, Grealish and others.

While Depay uses this gesture to indicate that he is fully focused on the game and on soccer in general (Depay is also a rapper and an actor), other players use it to indicate that the criticism by their fans doesn’t affect them.

Many soccer players have faced criticism in their careers, especially players who have changed their clubs with huge transfer fees without living up to the expectations, or players that are expected to perform better in general.

soccer game

Some of these criticized players choose to fight back the criticism, and one of the ways that they use to fight back is to celebrate a goal by closing their ears indicating that the criticism didn’t reach them or that they don’t really care about the criticism that they are getting.

Why do soccer players put their hands behind their ears?

This type of celebration is another way to send a message to the people who have been criticizing the performance of the player.

If a soccer player puts their hands behind their ears to celebrate their goal, it is sometimes seen as if the player is asking the criticizers “why are you silent now?” 

However, this type of celebration is not always used to fight criticism, it is also used by some players to indicate that they are listening and focusing on the audience’s celebration of the goal and that they care about the audience.

Why do soccer players use the silence gesture after a goal?

This is the last one on our list, and this one is especially interesting.

After scoring an away goal, some soccer players use the silence gesture towards the audience of the opponent team to indicate that they have silenced the whole stadium by scoring a goal.

The audience in a soccer field doesn’t usually contain an even amount of fans for each of the competing teams. It’s usually quite the opposite actually.

If a soccer team is playing a home game, then most of the fans in the stadium will be people who support the home team (The team that the stadium belongs to)

With that in mind, some players silence the whole stadium when they score a goal against the home team, and some of these players decide to shove it in their opponent’s fans’ faces using the “silence gesture”.

This is especially more significant in derby soccer matches since the 2 competing teams are usually long term rivals.


Celebrations in soccer usually travel beyond just expressing excitement and happiness. Some soccer players use gestures in their celebrations to send messages to their loved ones, or to their fans, or to their opponent’s fans too.