Africa, the undisputed world leader in totally insane goal celebrations!

After watching this video featuring “The Ten Best Goal Celebrations of the 2002 World Cup”, I was struck between the eyes by two massive thunderbolts.

Thunderbolt One: Only the celebrations by the Nigerian and Senegalese goalscorers did justice to the goals scored. The pathetic gestures by the European players were, well, very European (read restrained). I think that might be because, in northern Europe anyway, one is required to be very drunk before celebrations are, by law, allowed to be unrestrained. And playing while drunk in World Cup matches doesn’t appear to be universally condoned. Shame.

Thunderbolt Two: African footballers – and, ye gods, their fans – need little excuse, and certainly no alcohol, to erupt in wild and totally unrestrained celebrations. A goal is all that is required to spark off a field-wide party vibe guaranteed to leave their Euro counterparts gobsmacked and the referee battling an intense panic attack.

You may remember Roger Milla of Cameroon selecting the best-looking corner flag with which to have public sex after he scored a cracker at the 1990 World Cup. The world gawped at his on-field tryst with a wooden pole and it inspired African footballers to devise all manner of unique and innovative celebrations.

Roger Milla gets jiggy with a corner flag after scoring a goal at the World Cup 1990

Nice, Now watch how Julius Aghahowa of Nigeria, after witnessing two very sad attempts by an Irishman and a German to execute a decent flick-flack, took it all to another level completely after scoring against Sweden. His celebration, in my book, appeared to include a quadruple somersault, a triple flick-flack and a cartwheel, mercurially topped off with a double pike. Too beautiful. I’m sure the United States Olympic Diving Association tried to create an American grandmother and passport for him after seeing that.

Anyway, after you’ve done the usual “pause-while-the-vid-buffers-to-allow-uninterrupted-viewing” manoeuvre, sit back and be mesmerised by how Aghahowa and Bouba Diop show the Europeans how proper celebrations should come across…

How cool was that, hey? I know. I am hoping that there will be a bagful of goals scored by the African teams in this World Cup, if only so we can soak up the 11-man after-party.

I trust that South Africa coach Carlos Parreira is giving the Bafana Bafana boys lots of time off to practise their Diski Dance. You never know. South Africa might even score a goal in this World Cup (pardon the sarcasm) and then we’ll see how well our guys have been paying attention to those hip-swerving fans in the Vodacom ads.

You lost me for a moment there. I was dreaming of our centre-back baldy Matthew Booth rising majestically to head home a cross against Mexico… and then settling with the rest of the team into a humungous hip-sway in the middle of the illuminated calabash we call Soccer City.

We can only dream…