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Big Whoops
May 15, 2006
Given cause for celebration, soccer players can often get carried away
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May 15, 2006

Big Whoops

Given cause for celebration, soccer players can often get carried away

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D.C. United forward Alecko Eskandarian (above) celebrated a recent goal against the New York Red Bulls--who were just bought and renamed by the energy-drink company--by taking a sip from a can of Red Bull and spitting it to the turf. The stunt, which cost Eskandarian a $250 fine, was brash, but not nearly as controversial as these celebrations:

SEPTEMBER 2004 Upset at sitting out the first 80 minutes of a game for Germany's Hannover 96, Clint Mathis taps his wrist after scoring a goal (above)--implying he wants to know why coach Ewald Lienen took so long to put him in. Mathis plays only one more game for Hannover before being sold to MLS.

JANUARY 2003 Brazilian striker Nu�es is fined $5,300 for inciting a riot by imitating a pig. After finding the net against Palmeiras--whose fans adopted a swine as their unofficial mascot--Nu�es drops to all fours and makes pig faces. Palmeiras fans, whipped into a frenzy by his porcine antics, storm the pitch.

NOVEMBER 2001 As he lay on his back after scoring, Seville's Jos� Antonio Reyes feels what he later describes as "a bit of a pinch" in a place you don't want to feel any kind of pinch. Turns out teammate Francisco Gallardo had leaned down and, out of sheer joy, bitten one of Reyes's testicles. Gallardo faces a disciplinary hearing but escapes a fine. Club director Monchi Rodriguez later defends the celebration, saying it "was neither terrible nor public. It happened in a private place." Touch�.

SEPTEMBER 1998 Edmilson, a striker for Brazilian team Atletico Mineiro, celebrates a goal against archrival America, a team known as the Rabbits, by pulling a carrot out of his shorts and eating it. He wasn't punished by the ref, but later in the game he is felled by a brutal cheap shot from an America player. When asked how the veggie, which had been stewing in his sweaty britches for half an hour, tasted, Edmilson says, "Did I find it revolting to eat? Of course not. I don't find my own body revolting."

APRIL 1999 Liverpool's Robbie Fowler mocks Everton fans--who had been taunting the striker about rumors of drug use--by pretending to snort a goal line off the field (above). He receives $100,000 in fines.

JULY 1995 Paul Gascoigne celebrates a goal for Rangers of Glasgow by pretending to play the flute (left), a pro-Protestant symbol. Shortly thereafter, a fan of Celtic (a Glasgow team with a strong Catholic fan base) pulls up next to him in a car and threatens to slash his throat.

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