Celebrating players who didn’t celebrate - Jesse Lingard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah…

Scoring any type of goal is a feat worth celebrating, unless it is against a former club, that is.

It was a goal worthy of a fervoured celebration but Jesse Lingard was a study of calm after firing Manchester United into a 2-1 lead at West Ham in the dying moments of Sunday's Premier League encounter.

Lingard enjoyed a successful loan spell at the Hammers during the 2020/21 campaign and despite scoring what proved to be the matchwinner, his decision not to celebrate was borne out of a respect for the Hammers and their hand in his rejuvenation.

In doing so, the United winger joined a growing band of players who have opted not to celebrate when scoring against their former clubs...

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Sporting Lisbon Sep16

CR7 did not celebrate against former clubs on a couple of occasions while playing for Real Madrid.

In the last 16 of the 2012/13 Champions League, his goal helped Real Madrid progress 3-2 on aggregate against Manchester United. As in the first leg, he held his hands up for a quiet celebration, showing his love for the Manchester United fans - a love which was reignited in 2021.

The Portuguese record goalscorer also netted against his first professional team, Sporting Lisbon, in the 2016/17 Champions League.

His free-kick proved too good for Rui Patricio before Alvaro Morata notched to seal a 2-1 win for Madrid.

When asked why he chose not to celebrate, he simply responded: "They made me who I am."

Mohamed Salah

Mo Salah Liverpool Roma Apr18

Salah, like Ronaldo, has muted his celebrations against his former clubs.

After scoring for Liverpool against former club Chelsea in 2017 he also did not celebrate to pay tribute to those killed in the Sinai mosque attack.

He also scored twice against AS Roma in the Champions League, but once again did not celebrate. He had finished the previous campaign as top scorer for Roma and was somewhat apologetic following both of his goals in the 5-2 victory.

The same went for the three occasions he netted against another of his former Italian clubs, Fiorentina.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard Man City Chelsea Sep14

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard came back to haunt his former club, scoring for Manchester City to rescue a valuable point for the Citizens.

Aged 36, Lampard, who scored a hugely impressive 211 goals in his time at Stamford Bridge, was at Man City following a loan move from MLS club New York City.

His name was chanted by Chelsea fans before the match but they were not in such fine voice when he volleyed home from a James Milner cross to make it 1-1.

Mobbed by team-mates, Lampard remained calmness personified, as befits a player who spent 13 years and made 648 appearances in the blue of Chelsea.

Denis Law

Perhaps one of the most memorable goals against a former club was scored by ex-Manchester United icon Denis Law for Manchester City.

Law scored for City with an impudent back-heel but the lack of expression on his face told the story as the goal ultimately relegated his former club on the last day of the 1973/74 First Division campaign.

Law said years afterwards that he felt "awful" after scoring and silencing the crowd. That back-heel also proved to be his last ever kick as he was substituted immediately after and then went on to retire.

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie Man Utd Arsenal Nov 2012

The Dutch goalscoring machine caused controversy in 2012, leaving Arsenal to join rivals Manchester United in search of a Premier League title.

Sir Alex Ferguson had convinced the striker to join United, following a season in which Van Persie netted 30 league goals to win the Golden Boot.

Before United's first meeting with Arsenal, Van Persie said that he would not celebrate if he scored. Just three minutes had elapsed when he proved his point, putting his hands in the air with almost no emotion on his face. In the reverse fixture he opted not to celebrate once more after scoring from the penalty spot.

The following season, though, there was controversy when Van Persie went against his word and celebrated a crucial goal against Arsenal, riling the Gunners fans in the process.

Mario Gotze

Mario Gotze Bayern Munich May14

PSV attacking midfielder Mario Gotze rose through the ranks at Borussia Dortmund, becoming one of the biggest talents in Germany.

Rivals Bayern Munich triggered his release clause in 2013 and the German international made the move to Munich.

In his first league game against his first club, Gotze was subjected to boos from his former supporters after entering the field in place of Mario Mandzukic.

Despite the reception, Gotze opted not to celebrate after powering a shot into the far corner of the net, instead putting his hands in the air as a way of apology.

Gabriel Batistuta

Fiorentina's all-time top goalscorer and club legend Gabriel Batistuta, also known as 'Batigol', moved to rivals AS Roma in 2000 and inevitably scored against his former club in his first season with Roma.

After netting from 25 yards to win the game 1-0, the Argentinian looked visibly upset and was reduced to tears on the pitch, perhaps a strange reaction following what should be a joyous moment for any player.

Batistuta later explained that he felt the emotions of the Fiorentina fans, knowing that they would return home disappointed. He went on to say that Fiorentina held a big place in his heart having had three children born in the city while he lived there.

At the end of the game, he even ran over to the 3,000 visiting fans and applauded them before leaving the Olympic Stadium in tears at the end of an emotional night.

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