Football Features

“Could have caused a riot” – 10 managers who went OTT with their celebrations

By CJ Smith

Published: 11:30, 21 May 2020 | Updated: 10:03, 30 March 2021

Football is an emotional sport. Sometimes our passion for the game can get the better of us. And managers are no different.

They are often the bastions of authority and gatekeepers of professionalism, leading by example so their players don’t step out of line.

But, not always do those on the touchline keep a cool head. Sometimes instinct kicks in and you’re lost in the moment, and there is no better example of this than with an unexpected victory, a last-minute goal or triumphing over a great rival.

One look at Diego Simeone’s animated theatrics, or remembering Andre Villas-Boas’ touchline enthusiasm in the Premier League, will tell you all you need to know about the passion intrinsically woven into the fabric of all managers.

With that in mind, here are 10 times they let their hearts take over and went completely over the top with their celebrations.

1. Jose Mourinho v Manchester United

Porto’s 2004 Champions League win shocked the footballing world, with absolutely nobody expecting them to get so far into the knockout rounds, let alone go all the way.

However, they did just that and in the process, they introduced us to the madness that is Jose Mourinho.

In the 90th minute of the second leg in the first knockout round, Manchester United were leading 1-0 thanks to a Paul Scholes goal. That goal meant it was 2-2 on aggregate, with Man United going through on away goals. However, right at the death, Costinha bagged a dramatic goal that gave Porto the most unlikely of victories.

In what would become typical Mourinho style, the Portuguese burst out of his seat and sprinted down the touchline to celebrate with his players and fans. It simultaneously drew the ire of the Man United fans and sealed Mourinho’s place in Champions League folklore.

2. Pep Guardiola v Southampton 

Manchester City had long since secured the 2017/18 Premier League title when they travelled to Southampton on the final day and you could have forgiven them for simply going through the motions. However, Pep Guardiola is a perfectionist and this game presented a chance for City to reach the 100 points tally, an unprecedented feat in Premier League history.

Thanks to some dogged Southampton defending, the chance looked gone as the sides went deep into stoppage time with the scores at 0-0. But in the 94th minute, City found a way, with Gabriel Jesus bagging a last-gasp winner and heading straight for the away fans behind the goal.

Meanwhile, Guardiola jumped straight out of his seat and appeared to contemplate joining the mess of limbs, before thinking better of it, instead choosing to bounce around awkwardly on the touchline with his coaching staff.

3. Graeme Souness v Fenerbahce

Remember when Graeme Souness said Jose Mourinho ‘could’ve caused a riot’ when he came onto the pitch and shushed the crowd after Man United’s win at Juventus?

Well, you’re one to talk, Graeme. In 1996, Souness managed Galatasaray to the Turkish Cup final, coming up against fierce rivals Fenerbahce. Galatasaray won the game, sealing the victory with a 1-1 draw away at Fenerbahce in the second leg, making it 2-1 on aggregate.

This derby is renowned for its hostility, so what did Souness do? He marched into the middle of the Fenerbahce pitch and planted a Galatasaray flag into the ground. The act came dangerously close to causing a riot, with Fenerbahce fans absolutely incensed at the Scot, and the incident has never been forgotten in Turkey. 

4. Alan Pardew v Manchester United

Awkward, disturbing, uncomfortable, mortifying; these are all words in the English dictionary, yet none of them even come close to describing that Alan Pardew jig against Manchester United in 2016.

It was the FA Cup final and the stakes were high. This kind of high-pressure atmosphere can bring out all sorts of crazy behaviour in people, and when Jason Puncheon scored a 78th-minute equaliser for Crystal Palace, Pardew brought out his best (worst) dance moves.

Pardew had obviously spent years getting familiar with the best of the Bee Gees to hone this particular celebration, which is reminiscent of every embarrassing uncle at his 40th birthday shin-dig, and it has since passed into GIF folklore.

5. Paolo Di Canio v Newcastle 

Paolo Di Canio; wonderfully gifted as a player, remarkably inept as a manager and oh so incredibly generous at dishing out his controversial moments.

In April 2013, the Italian took a struggling Sunderland side to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle United in the Tyne-Wear derby. The Black Cats hadn’t won away at the Magpies in 13 years but, somehow, Di Canio masterminded an epic 3-0 victory.

And if you’re looking for an OTT celebration from the former West Ham forward, take your pick; as each goal went in, Di Canio got more and more animated, piling on his players, running down to the Sunderland fans and generally causing chaos in the derby day cauldron. Moments like these are reason enough to want Di Canio back in the Premier League.

6. Jurgen Klopp v Everton 

The dramatic and bizarre nature of Liverpool’s win over Everton last season sent the Anfield crowd into raptures, and it clearly rubbed off on manager Jurgen Klopp.

When Virgil Van Dijk shanked the ball high into the air in the 96th minute, everyone assumed the ball was going out and it was game over, 0-0. That was everyone apart from Jordan Pickford, who decided he would push the ball back into play, onto the crossbar then straight onto the head of Divock Origi.

The goal sent the red half of Merseyside wild, with Klopp sprinting onto the pitch and diving on his goalkeeper, Alisson. Klopp apologised for his actions in the immediate aftermath, while fans from both sides certainly saw the good and bad from his antics. You can’t deny the German’s passion for the big occasion though.

An FA misconduct charge was also issued to Klopp, who ultimately accepted it. The former Dortmund manager was fined £8,000. Ouch.

7. Alex Ferguson and Brian Kidd v Sheffield Wednesday

In 1993, Manchester United were on the cusp of their first league title since 1967. The Red Devils had just dispatched title rivals Norwich City 3-1 at Carrow Road with one of the best displays of counter-attacking football seen in years. Following that up with a victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford would put Alex Ferguson’s side in an almost unreachable position.

However, United found themselves 1-0 down against the Owls and the dream seemed to be slipping away. Cue ‘Fergie time’. On 86 minutes, captain Steve Bruce hauled United level, before the defender once again found the net in stoppage time with a bullet header. The second goal sent Old Trafford and the United bench barmy, with Ferguson and assistant Brian Kidd darting on the pitch. Kidd in particular completely lost it, diving around the pitch and going into a complete frenzy.

8. Alan Pardew v Fulham

So, we’re back to Alan Pardew but this time, we’re going to his time as Newcastle United manager.

April 2013 saw the Magpies desperately scrambling away from the relegation zone, and a clash with mid-table Fulham at St James’ Park gave Pardew’s side a chance to pick up three much-needed points.

Newcastle dominated the game but were agonisingly wasteful with their chances, until Papiss Cisse delivered a dramatic winner in stoppage time. St James’ Park is lively at the worst of times, so when Cisse turned the ball in, the roof nearly came off and prompted Pardew to jump into the crowd and join in with the fans.

After the game, Pardew described his thought process: “I didn’t intend to jump in the crowd, it was something that just happened in my head.”

9. Diego Maradona v Peru

It was looking gloomy indeed for Argentina in October 2009. The two-time world champions found themselves drawing 1-1 at home to Peru, leaving their World Cup qualification hopes in the balance.

That was until Martin Palermo’s injury-time goal secured them a vital 2-1 win, getting Diego Maradona’s side right back on track.

The rain was lashing down in Buenos Aires and Maradona, who was not in the best shape of his life at the time, decided to run onto the pitch and go into an awkward belly flop/slide across the wet turf. It wasn’t graceful, it was certainly ludicrous. But something about it was typical Maradona.

10. Jose Mourinho v Barcelona

Honestly, we could have made an entire piece dedicated to Jose Mourinho with this topic.

Another of his crazy moments came in the 2010 Champions League semi-final. Inter Milan v Barcelona was billed as a total clash of styles; Guardiola’s ‘tiki-taka’ vs Mourinho’s pragmatism.

However, Mourinho’s Inter put on a totally unexpected display of attacking class in the first leg at the San Siro, coming from 1-0 down to take a 3-1 lead to the Nou Camp. That lead was reduced to 3-2 late in the second leg, but Inter held out in true Mourinho style.

When the final whistle finally sounded, Mourinho surged on to the pitch to partake in exuberant celebrations with his players, goading Barca players and fans alike and enraging the Catalan crowd. Just another day at the office for Jose, though.