James Milner explains why ‘old man’ celebration was for Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool midfielder James Milner has shed light on his ‘old man’ celebration, explaining how his post-goal antics were motivated by raillery comments made by Virgil van Dijk.
The veteran midfielder converted a penalty against Cardiff on Sunday to guarantee his side all three points in the Welsh capital.
What was Milner’s ‘old man’ celebration? Five key things to know…
- Liverpool beat Cardiff 2-0 on Sunday in the Premier League.
- Milner came on in the second half following an injury to Fabinho.
- Six minutes after his introduction, the former England international converted a spot-kick.
- As Milner darted towards the travelling away fans in celebration, he mimicked the antics of a hunched old man.
- He has now revealed the celebration was inspired by tongue-in-cheek comments made by Van Dijk about his age.
Georginio Wijnaldum had put Jurgen Klopp’s side one to the good after dispatching a lethal shot to break the deadlock in the 57th minute, but Milner put the game beyond doubt with a well-executed spot-kick.
Following his goal, the 33-year-old sprinted in the direction of the travelling Merseyside faithful before appearing to impersonate a hunched old man, and he has now revealed how Van Dijk has been making playful digs about his age on the training field.
“Virgil [van Dijk] has been giving me plenty of stick for being old,” Milner said.
“So it was just one for him really.”
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The ‘old man’ celebration
This is not the first time the ‘old man’ celebration has appeared in the Premier League, with Milner’s post-goal shenanigans evoking fond memories of a certain Samuel Eto’o.
In 2014, during his Chelsea playing days, the Cameroon legend marked a goal in the 4-0 league win over Spurs by racing to the home fans and imitating an old man, using the corner flag as a mock walking stick.
The celebration came about after then-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was caught on camera suggesting Eto’o was older than his stated age of 32.
In the spirit of the humorous celebration, Mourinho could be seen cracking a smile, but the former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward has since branded the Portuguese coach a “fool” for his jibe.
Speaking in 2014 ahead of the World Cup, he said: “Thanks for informing me that it will be my last World Cup. Today, I am 33 years old. And it is not because a fool called me an old man that you must believe it.”