Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Expressing success on the pitch

Expressing success on the pitch
By now you’re probably well aware of what an expressive nation Italy is. With seemingly endless varieties of gesture and non-verbal communication, it can often be hard to work out what someone is trying to say with their body language. But one message that can never be misinterpreted in the sheer joy of your soccer team scoring a goal. Or if you’re a player, the elation of scoring it.
It seems every footballer has their own trademark ritual when it comes to celebrating a goal. Whether ripping off their shirt and waving it around, dropping to their knees and praying or simply running around in a strange dance-like euphoria, the celebrations almost yield as much joy to spectators as the goals themselves.
Vincenzo Montella was famous for his airplane dance, running around the pitch with his arms outstretched like wings when he scored – earning him the nickname ‘L’Aeroplanio – The little Airplane.  Francesco Totti sticks his thumb in his mouth to contain the excitement, Fabrizio Ravenelli pulls his shirt over his head (often revealing his six-pack) and Del Piero sticks his tongue out – which is pretty apt when you know that’s something New Zealand’s Maori people have been doing to intimidate their enemies for years.