sports gazette

Pancake Day: Football's biggest tossers

Published: 28 Feb 2017

In honour of Pancake Day, we thought it would be good to look at the best footballers who would flip with joy after scoring.

Miroslav Klose

While some may remember him for the small matter of being the all-time highest World Cup goalscorer, many forget his skills in the world of acrobatics.

Many of the acrobats on this list go for something more stylish, Klose settles for the simple two-footed jump, nailing it almost every time.

Julius Aghahowa

Not the most well-known player on the list, but his skills as an acrobat are up there with the best.

Scoring 14 times in 32 appearances for Nigeria, including his country’s only goal at the 2002 World Cup, Aghahowa would celebrate with a series of backwards somersaults.

Robert Earnshaw

The Zambia-born striker made over 400 league appearances in England for a number of different clubs and is the only player to score a hat trick in all four professional English divisions, the FA Cup, the League Cup and an international match.

Another man who settles for the single forwards flip, Earnshaw even took his skills as a gymnast across the pond with the Vancouver Whitecaps.


Following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo by joining Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon, there were reports that Sir Alex Ferguson had banned the winger from celebrating in an acrobatic manner, which Nani denied.

The Portuguese footballer used to practice capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts, and it’s clear this aided his fantastic ability to glide through the air after putting the ball in the back of the net. If he is ever to return to England, fans will be looking forward to seeing his acrobatic talent once again.

Lomana LuaLua

LuaLua comes from a talented footballing family, with brother Kazenga also sharing his enthusiasm for acrobatics, and his cousin Yannick Bolasie playing in the Premier League.

The striker has a background in gymnastics after moving to England at a young age, and his trademark celebration included seven back-flips and a backwards somersault.

After leaving for Olympiacos in 2007 we thought we had seen the last of his skills in English football, but he returned for a short spell with Blackpool in 2011 and crowds were delighted with the celebration return.

Obafemi Martins

Having a very similar style to LuaLua, Martins’ celebration was enjoyed by supporters in Serie A, the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga.

The combination of back-flips and somersaults has gained the Nigerian striker fans all over the world, and he is still wowing fans to this day, currently plying his trade in China with Shanghai Shenhua.

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