Some football celebrations are so terrible that they quickly evaporate from public memory; some, however, become iconic.
Kylian Mbappe’s tucked arms – a celebration that we’ve seen countless times from the French superstar – can certainly be dropped into that latter category. A kid’s dream to recreate in the playground, the world has become very accustomed to seeing the Paris Saint-Germain forward crossing his arms after wheeling away while watching his strike ripple in the back of the net.
So, what’s the story with his famous celebration?
Although Mbappe is just 23 years of age, it was already nearly six years ago that the world witnessed his coss-armed celebration for the first time.
The superstar striker rolled it out after netting in a Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Borussia Dortmund. Mbappe scored twice that day, and once in the return leg, as Monaco ran out 6-3 winners on aggregate on their way to the last four.
After only deploying a standard knee-slide for his opening strike on the day, Mbappe introduced the world to his now-iconic crossed-arm celebration after crashing in the above strike for Monaco’s decisive third in that thrilling victory.
It’s one of the most recognisable actions in football nowadays, and it actually has a pretty wholesome backstory to it.
Mbappe himself explained the celebration in an unauthorised biography entitled Mbappe. The Frenchman revealed that its origins in fact lay with his brother Ethan, who used it while playing FIFA.
“He scored a goal and celebrated by crossing his arms,” he said.
“Five minutes later, he stopped and said ‘Kylian, you could do that in a match.’ So I did it,” he continued. “So it happened in Dortmund and I did it. He was happy. I told him: ‘Now I’ve stolen it, it’s mine!’”