Over the years, Manchester United faithful have witnessed iconic moments in abundance. Be it goals, trophies or even comebacks, we’ve seen it all. And while mostly goals are what people remember forever, many United players have celebrated in ways that remain embedded in the memories of fans forever. From Cantona’s iconic turn to Rooney’s boxing gesture to Nani’s backflip, let’s take a look at the best individual celebrations ever by Manchester United players-
Cantona’s Turn and Stance
Is there a better choice to start a list of iconic celebrations? Probably not. It’s probably impossible to outshine a world class goal with just a celebration. Not if you’re King Eric. After he scored a chipped goal of the quality and precision that most players can only dream of, he stood calm and turned slowly, as if acknowledging that he was the king and the rest were his court men. He was at the top of his prime, and his incredible stance- inscrutable expression, absorbing the moment- has now been voted as the best celebration of the Premier League era.
Rooney’s Shadow Boxing and Fall
A day after a video emerged of Wayne Rooney being knocked out by Phil Bardsley in a sparring session held in the United All-time top scorer’s kitchen, he proceeded to repeat the same after scoring his side’s third goal against Tottenham- throwing a few punches in the air and then collapsing to the ground. The celebration got a positive reaction mostly due to the comical manner in which it was executed.
Gary Neville’s Chest Pump
Scoring against your biggest and most bitter rival ever, and that too against a set of fans who’ve have always given you stick. Exactly why Neville celebrated so passionately against the Liverpool fans back then. His chest thump and extreme joy aroused a lot of negative reactions from the Liverpool fans, but, as depicted by Neville- Who the f*ck cares about the scousers!?
Nani’s Trademark Flips
In his successful but somewhat underwhelming United career, Nani has given United fans many moments to rejoice. And just like his goals and exciting skills, his trademark celebratory flips will be remembered forever. Be it the back flip against Arsenal or the cartwheel against Bayern, his Capoeira skills excited us all. And on top of that, he disobeyed the boss as well, who cautioned him about potential injuries. Thank God he didn’t obey him here!
Here’s him against Liverpool.
Rooney’s Moment with Nani
What do you do when you score one of the best goals in the history of your club and that too against derby rivals? You do what Rooney did- run to the corner and stand elated, close your eyes and face the sky, as if you’re about to let go of everything, and just wait for your assister to come and lift you up.
Vidic’s Joy vs Sunderland
He got a lot of stick for scoring an average goal, but he knew what a certain tagline would say in the future- “There will be Haters” (I’m waiting for my commission, Adidas!). He scored a goal of a striker’s instinct, making a run all the way past the defenders which most centre-backs won’t even think of these days. And followed that up with an elated celebration with his fans in the front row.
Van Persie’s Silencing Roar vs Arsenal
My personal favourite, this. Van Persie, the Arsenal captain who controversially completed a switch to rivals Manchester United, ignored the jeers in his first two outings against his former club, not celebrating his goals both times. However, he was apparently fed up of his former fans giving him a stick that he let himself loose- sprinting to his new fans, knee sliding towards the supplier Rooney, spreading his arms wide and roaring with joy. Arsene Wenger just commented a week earlier that Van Persie would always remain an Arsenal man. Well, what a way to rub salt in his wounds and show your loyalty to your current team!