Rio Ferdinand took the opportunity to take a playful swipe at Gary Lineker after Erling Haaland mimicked Didier Drogba’s famous celebration when he opened up the scoring for Manchester City against Young Boys on Tuesday night.
The Norwegian goal-machine converted from the spot before running off towards the corner flag while pumping his arms out to the side, just as Drogba did back in the day. He had promised the Chelsea legend he would do so at the Ballon d’Or ceremony which was co-hosted by Drogba and Lineker.
Drogba urged Haaland to either replicate his celebration or Lineker’s trademark ‘fists pumping’ celebration when he next scored a goal. “For your next goal, I challenge you, you have to choose between the Didier Drogba celebration and the Gary Lineker celebration, if you accept the challenge, of course?” said Drogba.
Haaland responded: “We’ll see next goal. I celebrate in the moment, so I’ll think of both of you when I score my next goal and will decide!”
Picking up on Haaland’s tribute, Joleon Lescott said on the TNT Sports panel at half-time: “At the Ballon d’Or, (Didier) Drogba and Gary Lineker questioned him about his loyalties and can he recognise the celebration the next time he scores, and he dedicated that to Didier. It was a good moment for him.”
Laura Woods then asked: “Do you reckon if he scores again he’ll do one for Gary Lineker?” In response, Ferdinand quipped: “I don’t think he would have seen one of Gary Lineker’s celebrations, would he?”
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Haaland’s next game in a Manchester City shirt after the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony was a 6-1 trashing of Bournemouth but remarkably Haaland did not find the back of the net. But in the 23rd minute of City’s Champions League group stage clash he beat Anthony Racioppi in the Young Boys goal-mouth to break the deadlock from the penalty spot.
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