Explaining Why Neymar Celebrates Goals With Neener Neener Face Gesture


No sport does celebrations as iconic as football. To score goals is the primary aim of the game, so it is only fair and justified for players to celebrate any time they score.

Most footballers, from Messi and Ronaldo to youngsters like Mbappe and Haaland, have signature moves.

Along with the “Calma,” the “Siuuuu” is one of Ronaldo’s most recognisable in world football.

Players from different sports and people throughout the world have been performing the celebration to an extent where it has far transcended Ronaldo himself.

In one of Messi’s celebrations, the PSG superstar will typically point one finger from each hand towards the sky as he makes his way back to the centre circle.

Another PSG star, Neymar, has a good few celebrations under his belt, like his “Shush” or him placing his boot on his head. 

Neymar Jr. is one of the most skilful players this world has ever seen.

Along with that, the Brazilian is someone that many rival fans dislike simply because of how easily he dribbles past defenders and then taunts the opponents about it. 

In line with this, Neymar now raises his hands, plants his thumb near the ears, jiggles his fingers and sticks his tongue out whenever he scores a goal.

This action is called the Neener-Neener face.

The player even tweeted about the celebration back in July to add some context.

The tweet says “Grimace for the haters” meaning that the gesture is directed towards critics and haters and meant to taunt them.

Yesterday, the former Barcelona player scored the last of PSG’s three goals and secured a victory against Maccabi Haifa in the UCL.

He again used the taunting celebration, only this time he was penalized by the referee for it.

Neymar doing his trademark Neener Neener face celebration after goal against Maccabi Haifa.

Players have been known to get a booking for celebrations like taking off their shirts or for acts that cause provocation in the stands, but this celebration did not fall in either category, making the yellow card a truly baffling decision.

Neymar tried to fight the booking but to no avail. 

The same surprise and astonishment made its way through to social media, with fans claiming that the caution was downright disrespectful.

This is not the first time that the forward has been booked for something not worthy of a booking, like in this instance when he was shown a card for attempting to perform a trick.

The conclusion drawn: Neymar is now one of the most hated players in the sport and is being penalized for having fun.

The player himself used social media to ask for justification for his yellow card.

The tweet translates to “Total lack of respect for the athlete. This kind of thing can’t happen. I take the yellow for simply not having done anything and I continue to be harmed. And the judge? Not even to say he was wrong, he will! A lot of lack of respect”.

Apparently, he did receive an apology from the referee but it mattered little as the yellow card stood.

Fans are understandably upset, stating that the game is gone and there is no joy anymore.

The Brazilian, along with teammates Messi and Mbappe, has been in good form this season and we certainly hope that these things do not affect his game.