Brazil's 'Strictly Come Dancing' celebrations enrage Roy Keane




Brazil
Brazil's 'Strictly Come Dancing' celebrations enrage Roy Keane - AFP  

When the solemn moment comes to award a goal of the tournament at this World Cup Brazil will surely have some contenders.

Three candidates came in their irresistible first half against a disintegrating South Korea in their round of 16 match, and the initial reaction from neutrals around the world was delight. Vinicius Jr's sublime finish was fit for any stage and you would have to be a Christmas World Cup ultra-Scrooge to find anything wrong in the way Brazil celebrated it.

Important goals on the biggest stage deserve the tribute of a pre-planned celebration and when Vini Jr's artful dink beat Kim Seung-gyu and four nearby defenders it was time for Brazil to break out the coordinated dances. And why not, given this is a team which has toiled to its two wins so far in Qatar, even losing their last game to Cameroon?

The natives were restless, angry with Tite's decision to rest players for that game even though his team were already through to the knockout stages. A reaction was inevitable, and so much better for it to be one of joy rather than the over-done shh-ing or ear-covering preferred by less imaginative players when feeling even mildly wronged.

So the merry dance of Vini Jr and friends seemed appropriate in the opening minutes. The problem was when Brazil did it again. Then again. And again.

Inside the stadium this was being lapped up. The deafening post-goal music could not obscure the thrill of seeing Brazil in full flight, and the variety of choreography on offer felt like part of the spectacle. One dance seemed to be a loose tribute to Bebeto's cradle-rocking in 1994, a trailblazer in modern celebratory artform. Another involved Brazil's manager Tite, who looked like an unscrupulous small business owner letting his hair down briefly after three beers at the Christmas party.

Still, there was also a nagging sense that this might be construed as slightly unnecessary given the obvious paucity of their opponents. But no big, deal, right? If you ever find yourself asking a rhetorical question like that, "who could possibly object to this?" you can un-rhetorical it with two simple words: Roy Keane.

The former Manchester United midfielder did not really go in for ornate celebrations in his playing days. You sense he disapproved of Ryan Giggs' shirt removal after his dramatic winner against Arsenal at Villa Park in 1999 which kept United's treble dream alive. Bit much.

To nobody's surprise Keane thought Brazil were guilty here of taking the mickey "I think it's disrespectful dancing like that every time they score," he said during punditry duties for ITV Sport. "I don't mind the first jig, or whatever it was, for the first goal, but not every time. It's disrespectful. Even their manager gets involved. I don't like it.

"I can't believe what I'm watching. I've never seen so much dancing. It's like watching Strictly. Brazil are fantastic but South Korea? My goodness."

It must be noted that there was no obvious objection during the match from anyone connected with South Korea. The closest they came to the usual reaction to any perceived on-pitch disrespect - a grievous foul - was Jung woo-young arriving too late to challenge for the ball close to the end of the first half and earning a yellow card.

It must also be noted that such fancy footwork from Brazil does not just happen by chance. "We rehearse that celebration together with coach in the hotel and I am happy we had a chance to use it," said Richarlison.
 
After the match he had comforted a tearful Son. "Football is like that," Richarlison added. "One is going to win. One is going to lose. I wish him all the best because we need him at Tottenham."

Perhaps he can teach him some salsa steps to cheer him up when back in chilly London. Just don't tell Roy Keane.

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