Italian striker Mario Balotelli is rarely out of the headlines, and this weekend was no exception.
Balotelli scored the opening goal of the Ligue 1 match against Saint-Etienne with a spectacular overhead kick, but his celebration eclipsed the strike immediately.
The much-maligned Olympic Marseille striker took celebrating with the fans to a new level by using his phone to post his goal celebration to his 8.4 million Instagram followers.
The former Manchester City star — who can already claim ownership of one of the most famous celebrations in Premier League history when in 2011 he revealed a T-shirt with the quote, “Why always me?” — calmly took the phone from a cameraman before beckoning his teammates over and recording the video.
The stunt lit up social media, but Balotelli is far from the first player to use their phone to immortalise their celebrations.
AS Roma and Italy legend Francesco Totti took a selfie after scoring a dramatic equaliser in the Rome derby against Lazio back in 2015.
On what was his 40th appearance in the Derby della Capitale — not only a record then but one that remains unsurpassed today — Totti scored both goals for Roma as the Giallorossi came from two goals down to salvage a draw against their much-hated, cross-city rivals.
“I am not used to doing selfies,” Totti said afterwards, perhaps excusing the fact that the then 39-year-old managed to cut most of his face from the image.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) June 21, 2018
“But this was a unique and unrepeatable occasion because my goals surpassed important players in the history of the derby. This is a moment that everyone will remember.”
He was right.
The now-iconic image in front of Roma’s famed Ultras in the Curva Sud at the Stadio Olympico, that Totti admitted he had planned by planting the phone with Roma’s goalkeeper coach prior to the match, was named as one of Totti’s most memorable moments in his numerous Derby appearances and even features in a popular computer game.
However, not even the ‘King of Rome’ can lay claim to being the first player to embrace social trends in their celebrations.
— Sporting KC (@SportingKC) July 6, 2014
US national team striker Dom Dwyer was shown a yellow card for his selfie after scoring in a 2014 MLS match between Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Red Wings.
Dwyer scored the opening goal in what turned into a 2-0 victory over Chicago, before running to the supporters, grabbing his phone from an accomplice and taking the snap.
“It was a good bit of fun, but I got a yellow for it,” Dwyer told MLSsoccer.com after the match, confirming that the stunt was also pre-planned.
“I was lucky I didn’t get another yellow, or else I would have been in big trouble.”