When Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold arrowed home an expertly placed free-kick on Sunday, eagle-eyed fans noticed the full-back produced a unique hand gesture in celebration.
Helping Liverpool maintain their 100 per cent record with a hard-fought Premier League victory over Chelsea, the celebration resembled the Volta symbol associated with the upcoming FIFA 20 video game, which is set for its much anticipated UK launch on Friday.
It continues a trend of sponsored and video-game themed celebrations in football, with popular game Fortnite leading the way last season as the main source of inspiration.
French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann and Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli were two of the main catalysts when it came to reproducing elaborate celebration dances from the 2017 game.
The pair continually savoured the big stage for such celebrations, with Alli flossing in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley while Griezmann brought his Fortnite dance to the World Cup final.
In terms of sponsored celebrations, one of the most infamous came from former Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner, who celebrated his second goal in Denmark’s Euro 2012 defeat at the hands of Portugal by exposing branding on a pair of ‘lucky Paddy Power pants’.
The controversial marketing stunt landed the striker a €100,000 (£80,000) fine from UEFA, which was picked up by the disruptive Paddy Power.
At the time, a spokesperson for the betting operator stated: “We pride ourselves on listening to our customers and what we heard loud and clear yesterday was that Nicklas Bendtner should not suffer as a result of UEFA’s double standards.
“We don’t believe that Nicklas should be penalised for nothing more serious than wearing his lucky underpants, which in fairness was only a bit of fun.”
Also on the international stage, when Australian legend Tim Cahill scored for his country in a World Cup qualifying victory over Syria, the midfielder produced a ‘T’ symbol, which prompted footballing authorities to investigate whether Cahill had broken any rules in potentially promoting a travel company that had lauded the celebration on social media.
Elsewhere, the goalscoring exploits of powerful football league striker Ade Akinfenwa led to the Wycombe talisman gaining a new partnership with Domino’s Pizza. As part of that collaboration, Akinfenwa promoted a new dab celebration on the website and social platforms of the fast-food outlet.
Further back, in the early 2000s, a host of players utilised their goalscoring moment for the promotion of A-Star, an organisation set up by the QPR defender Fitz Hall, aimed at countering the growing trend of violence in the UK at the time.
Admirably Andy Johnson, Ken Bonsu and Ronnie Wilson all stepped up to the plate and promoted the initiative through goal celebrations.
It would be unforgivable to write a piece on celebrations and not mention the plethora of unmistakable celebratory tributes that have been dished out from West Ham forward Michail Antonio, from Homer Simpson to Ali G, despite no paid endorsements the charismatic Hammer has a knack for memorable moments after netting goals.