Brazilians baffled by goal celebration row
Brian Homewood in Teresopolis, Brazil, Reuters
Brazilian players Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos said they were baffled over the controversy surrounding their comical goal celebrations for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Julio Baptista scored all four Real goals in the 4-0 win over Real Mallorca last weekend and celebrated first by hopping up and down like kangaroos and then by playing leapfrog.
The previous week Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Robinho had caused offence to Alaves president Dimitry Piterman when they dived on to the ground and waved their arms and legs about in a dance they dubbed 'the cockroach'.
'Sincerely, I didn't imagine anything like this and I'm surprised because I don't see any reason for a controversy,' Ronaldo said from Brazil's mountain retreat in Teresopolis.
'I have never wanted to offend anyone with my celebrations, but it seems to make some people uncomfortable.
'Maybe I'll stop celebrating, because I have never wanted to create problems ... if it bothers a teammate, or if it bothers the club or if it bothers the national team, it's something I'll have to think about.'
Roberto Carlos was equally perplexed: 'I don't even want to hear about celebrations, I want to talk about football.
'Celebrations are part of football, everyone celebrates in the way he sees fit and it surprises me that people are talking about how we have to celebrate a goal.
'I spoke to my father and he said that in his weekend kickabout, everyone goes mad when they celebrate and nobody says anything,' added the left-back. 'It's rubbish to create a storm out of something which has no importance.'
Captain Cafu, who plays for AC Milan, said he was in favour of eccentric celebrations.
'It's great,' he said. 'There are moments when the player needs to let out the stress of the game.'
Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was indifferent.
'We are not worried about this,' he said. 'The Brazil team have always known how to behave adequately. The goal is the best moment of football and they have to celebrate with happiness. But there are limits,' he said.