Explaining what Erling Haaland’s goal celebrations mean — from yoga meditation pose to mid-air leaps

Erling Haaland may only be 22 years old, but his place in the top league of global goalscorers is already undisputed.

The Norway international joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in time for the new Premier League season and is already running after scoring twice in his EPL debut against West Ham to open the new campaign.

Haaland has become a goalscoring sensation in recent years – first at RB Salzburg, where he scored 17 goals in 16 league games, before scoring a further 62 goals in 67 games in the Bundesliga for two years with Borussia Dortmund.

He has also scored 23 UEFA Champions League goals in just 19 games and Manchester City expect him to add to that tally and help them finally fulfill their unfulfilled European potential.

Of course, while establishing himself as one of the top scorers in the world, Haaland has built quite a repertoire of goal celebrations. Here’s The Sporting News bringing you the facts on all the moves you can expect more of in the Premier League this season:

MORE: Updated list of Premier League top scorers for 2022/23 season

What do Erling Haaland’s goal celebrations mean?

Yoga meditation posture

Erling Haaland from RB Salzburg

Haaland’s most characteristic goal celebration involves the Norwegian sitting on the ground in a meditative pose, resting his wrists on his knees and touching a finger to his thumb. This pose is known in yoga as the “Lotus” pose and is used when a person seeks to find stillness, zen and inner peace.

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The celebration is iconic enough that it has been included in recent editions of the FIFA video game.

It most recently came into focus as the 22-year-old Man City forward sat on the pitch at London Stadium after scoring his first Premier League goal on his debut against West Ham.

“I like to meditate,” said Haaland in March 2020 in an interview with Esporte Interativo. “It helped me a lot to meditate and find inner peace, so it was good for me.

“It calms me down and gives me peace of mind. That’s why sometimes I celebrate like that when I score a goal.”

Haaland is no stranger to yoga, and he even shot a video for fans with German fitness trainer and influencer Pamela Reif while at Borussia Dortmund, showing off simple stretching and meditation techniques.

The goal pose was also made famous by Neymar in March 2020 in an Instagram post that looked like a shot at Haaland.

The then Borussia Dortmund frontman scored a brace at home in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 first leg against PSG. Allegedly Haaland before the second leg posted a picture of himself on Snapchat with the caption “My city, not yours” next to the word “PARIS”.

After the second leg in France, where PSG won 2-0 to go into the tournament with a 3-2 aggregate score, Neymar posted a photo of him in the meditation pose with the caption: “Paris is our city, not yours. ‘ and adding the phrase, ‘Your city is in Norway, bro, go back’ to Haaland’s original post. The saga ended when Haaland’s teammates confirmed the original post was fake and revealed the Norwegian doesn’t even have a Snapchat account.

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Haaland was greeted by Kevin de Bruyne at Man City, who also celebrated as he scored his hat-trick en route to four goals in a 5-1 defeat by Wolves in May after Haaland’s transfer to City was confirmed.

finger to his ear

Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund

Haaland is another celebration that has already found its way into the Premier League. He is also known to point one finger at his ear while his other hand points to the sky.

The Norway international did so to celebrate scoring his second goal on his debut with Man City against West Ham.

Haaland has capitalized on this celebration enough that it’s become something of a second trademark, even making the gesture while posing for photos during his Man City unveiling.

Haaland didn’t really talk about any specific meaning behind this celebration. Footballers often cover their ears during goal celebrations, signaling home fans to raise their voice for the team once they find the back of the net.

When playing on the street, it can often be a sarcastic gesture to ask opposing home fans where the noise went.

Prolific Fulham Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has made a habit of using a similar cheer as his trademark, putting his hand to his ear and twisting his wrist back and forth as fans chant ‘Mitro’s on fire!’ .

jump in the air

Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund

Sometimes Haaland just lets it fly with unchoreographed leaps, leaps and other high-flying acrobatics.

The forward, who is 1.93m tall, will leap high in the air and often let out a primal scream.

The celebration is similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous “Siuuuu,” in which he too jumps in the air, spins 180 degrees, and finally stretches his arms down.

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Haaland has previously expressed his admiration for Ronaldo and even claimed he plays football because of the Portuguese superstar.

“I would like to meet him and tell him that I am a footballer thanks to him,” Haaland said in a 2020 interview. “He was always a role model for me.”

other celebrations

While Haaland has his stash of celebrations that are special to him, the young forward is also known for improvising on occasion.

He went viral in a Bundesliga game in November 2021, scoring away against Wolfsburg. He ran to the sidelines, knelt down and pointed directly at a female Wolfsburg supporter in a winter coat and mittens.

The celebration was particularly hilarious given the woman’s reaction, when the camera panned just in time to capture her hostile reaction and gave Haaland an adult gesture.

Haaland also made a pistol gesture after scoring his second goal for Man City on his Premier League debut against West Ham, repeatedly pointing each arm at the crowd in turn. When asked about it by Sky Sports after the game, Haaland didn’t answer and explained that he didn’t understand the English word “pistols”.

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