By 90Min
September 12, 2019

On 12 September 2009, Emmanuel Adebayor wrote himself into Premier League folklore with one of the most hilarious/despicable (delete as appropriate) celebrations ever witnessed in the division since its 1992 inception.

For Gooners the world over, he is now seen as the devil incarnate. Leaving north London in the summer for Manchester City hardly helped his reputation amongst the supporter base, but running 100 yards up the pitch to perform a knee slide in front of them destroyed it like flimsy piece of patio furniture thrown in disgust.

Having signed for the Sky Blues in a deal worth £25m, Adebayor scored on his first appearance against Arsene Wenger's side as his new team earned a 4-2 victory. Naturally, he charged the length of the pitch to share the joy with Arsenal fans in the away end, who were less than pleased with his actions. In the Togo international's defence, he had been subjected to particularly personal abuse throughout the game.

Speaking years later on the controversial celebration, Adebayor said: "Being abused, we got our limit...When I was running emotions took over and all that's in my head is 'yes, today I'm free'.

"It was a moment I will never forget in my life."

To toast that memorable moment, here's a look at eight other particularly controversial celebrations from down the years.


Gazza and the Dentist Chair

Stu Forster/GettyImages

In the build-up to Euro 1996, a bunch of the England boys went on a morale-building trip to Hong Kong and it clearly helped team spirit...Sorry, helped the team to drink spirits.


The touring party were lambasted by the media after it was learned they'd had a fair few drinks during the trip to the Far East. Of particular interest was an incident involving Paul Gascoigne and a dentist chair.


The midfielder's teammates strapped him in and took him for a ride, pouring copious amounts of alcohol down his throat. 


In classic Gazza fashion, he recreated the moment following a mesmerising effort against Scotland in the tournament group stages.


The Luis Suarez Flop

David Moyes definitely wasn't bitter about Luis Suarez's diving celebration for Liverpool during a Merseyside derby in 2012, the striker responding to accusations of playacting from the Everton boss.


Speaking after the 2-2 draw, the Scotsman said (as quoted by the Telegraph): "I thought it was great. I was going to do it if we’d scored a third.


"I just think you have to be careful what you do. He is going to have to dive in front of a lot of managers now. He was a really lucky man to stay on the pitch."


I repeat, definitely not bitter.


Robbie Fowler Crosses the (White) Line

Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

Are the FA blind? He's clearly just pretending to eat the grass. Gerard Houllier was spot on, Robbie Fowler was imitating a cow because that is a perfectly logical way to commemorate a goal against your biggest rivals.


Toffees supporters had been ribbing the England international for an alleged cocaine habit, but that was a clearly unrelated matter as far as Houllier was concerned.


The Frenchman's defence of his player is weaker than Unai Emery's Gunners backline.


Diego Maradona Gives it the Eyes

From one connoisseur of the white line to another, Diego Maradona's final act at a World Cup was rather scary.


The Argentine national hero whipped in a stunning goal versus Greece at USA 1994 and - fuelled with more than just adrenaline - proceeded to race towards the touchline.


TV cameras got an unattractive view of Maradona, who's wild, bloodshot eyes glared straight down the lens. 


Predictably, a drugs test was in order and the veteran superstar got an F, testing positive for the performance-enhancer ephedrine.


Sam Clucas Hints at His Online Activities

Stu Forster/GettyImages

Apparently, there was an adult website on Sam Clucas' mind as he wheeled away to celebrate each of his goals in a 3-1 triumph over Arsenal.


A gesture from the Swansea City forward was immediately picked up as a reference to site Simply LoveLeh Brotherhood (SLB), with his hand making the shape of its logo.


SLB (definitely not shorthand for Benfica) are, according to The Sun; "a collective who publish explicit porn videos with commentary in a thick Yorkshire accent."


An apology from the man involved put the matter to rest, despite the media and footballing authorities widely condemning his actions.


Nicklas Bendtner and the Bookies

FIFA and UEFA rules mean players aren't allowed to display sponsors’ logos at the finals of a major tournament. That didn't stop the undisputed GOAT from flashing some Paddy Power boxers at Euro 2012. 

After netting against Portugal, Niklas Bendtner revealed some bright green underpants emblazoned with the bookmaker's name and the competition's organisers didn't see the funny side.


An £80,000 fine and a one-match ban was handed to the Arsenal legend, a pretty harsh punishment given the light-hearted nature of the gesture.


Mick McCarthy Makes His Feelings Known

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Most managers want their own fans to feel like they are an important and valued part of the club. Not Mick McCarthy. Oh no. He tells them to f**k off.

The Ipswich Town faithful mercilessly criticised their coach's tactics and style of play during his tenure at Portman Road, the Irishman responding in a less than dignified manner.

His men took the lead versus fierce rivals Norwich City, McCarthy defiantly pumping his fist before shouting some choice words at the crowd.


Nicolas Anelka's Quenelle

Yeah, that's just an inverted Nazi salute, Nicholas. You may be showing solidarity for a friend, but you're friend has a very long rap sheet and supporting him in such a way is not to be advised.

A comedian and associate of Anelka, Dieudonne M'bala M'bala invented the 'Quenelle' action  that the Frenchman performed after scoring against West Ham United.

His mate has multiple convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews, amongst other crimes and accusations. Probably not a good idea to recreate one of his gestures, then.

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