GOAL!

How soccer players celebrate in style

Four years of waiting. Intense qualifying matches with little margin for error. Temperatures in South Africa that have dipped into the 20s. A ball everyone seems to complain about. Running, running and more running--followed by more running.

 After all that, who wouldn't jump on any excuse to go temporarily insane?

So it goes when players dent the net in the World Cup.

And just like the goals themselves, the celebrations range from tame to dangerous, from relatively routine to absolutely spectacular.

What goes through players' minds after they boot one past the keeper? RedEye turned to local experts--members of the Fire--for some outburst insight.

First, you can never go wrong with the group hug. It's a specialty of the Fire and, like many celebrations, it's as much an expression of relief as it is joy.

"I think [some] people have something installed [to celebrate more creatively], but at the time we get the goals, we're just so excited, so relieved," forward Patrick Nyarko said.

Second, a celebration's degree of difficulty varies, often depending on the game context.

"It depends on the emotion of the goal," forward Marco Pappa said. "All goals are exciting, but some are more special, like when we're losing or are about to win a game."

When Pappa--much like players in the World Cup--gets really excited, he pulls out the cartwheel-roundoff-backflip sequence, like he did following his second goal against Colorado on June 9.

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