Football News

“That has been done” – Christopher Nkunku hints at reason for unusual celebration in RB Leipzig win

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:42, 2 November 2022

RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku made history when he opened the scoring in his side’s 4-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday evening.

Die Roten Bullen went into the match knowing a draw would have been enough to secure their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League, advancing to the knockout stages for the third time in the club’s history. Any early nerves in the Leipzig squad will have been settled after 10 minutes when Nkunku was first to react after Timo Werner’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper, finishing from 10 yards out.

The goal was Nkunku’s 14th goal across all competitions for RB Leipzig this season, continuing his excellent form that France will be hoping carries over to the World Cup later this month. Three of those 14 goals have come in the Champions League, with Nkunku also finding the net against Celtic and Real Madrid.

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It also took Nkunku’s total Champions League tally to 11 for RB Leipzig, moving him one clear of Emil Forsberg as the club’s all-time top goalscorer in the competition. After putting the ball in the back of the net, Nkunku ran to celebrate and it was something we haven’t seen before.

The Frenchman pulled a red ballon from out of his sock and blew it up, bemusing and confusing fans. Was he celebrating becoming RB Leipzig’s best ever Champions League scorer? Was there any significance of the colour? No.

Shortly after the celebration, reports were emerging that he had promised his son to blow up a balloon if he scored, and Nkunku all-but confirmed that post-match with a retweet.

While Nkunku said nothing himself, he retweeted a post from French side Actu Foot which read: “Christopher Nkunku had promised his son (who is a fan of inflatable balloons) to give him a nod to his next goal. That has been done.”

After the game, Nkunku refused to be drawn into focusing on the World Cup, revealing his mind was still set on closing the first half of the season well with RB Leipzig.

“I’m not thinking about the World Cup yet and I’m just concentrating to my game at RB Leipzig,” he said.

But there are more questions surrounding Nkunku aside from the World Cup. The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea in recent months and some reports claim that Nkunku has already undergone a medical and signed a pre-contract agreement with the London club.

That leads to question over whether Nkunku’s strike against Shakhtar was his last in the Champions League for RB Leipzig, a goal which could also see Die Roten Bullen draw Chelsea in the last 16.