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You Won't Believe How These Footballers Got Petty Revenge on Their Biggest Rivals

Revenge football celebrations are nothing new in the beautiful game of football. The excitement and emotions of scoring a big goal or winning a heated rivalry often boil over into player reactions aimed at getting back at their opponents. Over the years, these small revenges have led to some famous photos, although not always being sportsmanlike. 

One such revenge was the 2017 revenge between the two modern-era GOATs, Messi and Ronaldo. Messi scored the game-winning goal for Barcelona in the last seconds of the El Clásico event. To make the Real Madrid supporters angry, he celebrated by raising his jersey. After that year ended, Ronaldo had his revenge, he did the same thing as messi did, after the goal that helped Real Madrid win the Spanish Super Cup.

Many well-known celebrities have also taken part in the enjoyment. In 2019, we saw Borussia Dortmund phenom Erling Haaland celebrated in front of Paris Saint-Germain(PSG) fans during the Champions League game. But PSG recovered from the first leg deficit to advance, that made Neymar and teammates have the last laugh, criticizing Haaland's "zen" attitude.

Managers are not immune either. Diego Simeone and his trademark celebration have long drawn the ire of opponents. After Atlético Madrid finally beat Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus in the Champions League in 2019, Simeone let loose a passion-filled gesture of vindication. But Ronaldo would avenge the many previous eliminations by knocking Atléti out with a hat-trick in the return leg.

Some of the pettiest revenge celebrations have come from unexpected sources. Obscure players like Roman Weidenfeller and Antoni Lima Solà have gone after far more famous opponents. Weidenfeller taunted Mario Balotelli before a penalty kick, only for the Italian striker to convert and tell the goalkeeper to be quiet. Years earlier, Solà mocked Ruud van Nistelrooy's misses, but the Dutch legend responded by scoring and celebrating wildly right in front of him.  

The tension between rivals often hides just under the surface before bubbling over after a goal. Following racist abuse allegations, Luis Suárez refused to shake Patrice Evra's hand in the pre-match formalities. Evra would go on to play a starring role in Manchester United's win over Suárez's Liverpool, capping it with by goading the Uruguayan up close.

Some celebrations-turned-revenge stem from past meetings rather than pre-existing feuds. For Sweden U21 player Luyvin Kurzawa, an emphatic goal celebration mocking his Swedish opponents backfired immediately. Sweden would equalize within minutes en route to eliminating France from the U21 Euros, getting to turn the tables and mimic Kurzawa's celebration on the big stage.

So while good sportsmanship should ideally triumph over pettiness and revenge, football is ultimately still a dramatic spectacle. With so much national pride and personal reputation determining bragging rights between rivals, we will likely continue getting iconic revenge celebrations for years to come.

You can check out Gaol360 for more on the big stories and trends surrounding revenge celebrations and player rivalries across football.

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