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VIDEO: The wonderful world of FC Stjarnan
In the first of our Friday columns, the view from the subs bench would like to welcome you to the wonderful - and at times bizarre - world of Iceland’s FC Stjarnan.
The Garðabær-based club, whose name according to Google translate is pronounced garna-bye-eer, (but then it also says Garðabær translates as ‘California’ so don’t quote us on that) play in the top tier of Icelandic football, the Pepsi League, where they finished fourth last year behind equally unpronounceable league champions Hafnarfjörður.
But what we’re going to talk about has nothing to do with the quality of their football. No, we’re talking goal celebrations; proper goal celebrations, the likes of which put England players' efforts to shame.
Because we don’t really do goal celebrations, do we? Not proper ones anyway. Such unbridled outbursts of emotion just aren’t very British; they make us feel uncomfortable. No one likes a show-off after all.
Take, for example, Alan Shearer and Michael Owen - two players with charisma deficits running into the trillions.
Shearer’s ‘trademark’ celebration involved him racing away from the goal pointing a finger in the air and gurning like a halfwit. Owen’s trademark celebration involved him...racing away from goal pointing a finger in the air and gurning like a halfwit.
Then along came Peter Crouch, a footballer fashioned entirely from pipe cleaners and coat hanger wire who, when he first burst onto the scene in 2001, had us all believing that Sky Sports were broadcasting in the wrong aspect ratio.
He did ‘the robot’. It was rubbish.
It’s taken an Icelandic side from a town with barely ten thousand inhabitants to show us the way. The human toilet, gone fishing, the Rambo; these aren’t euphemisms for Icelandic hazing rites, they’re names given to some of Stjarnan’s elaborately choreographed goal celebration routines, and each one of them is a work of genius the Bolshoi would be proud of.
So Crouch, Shearer, Owen, Bebeto, Tardelli, Milla...Bullard, eat your hearts out. This is how it’s done.