Manchester United have revealed the ‘in-joke’ behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s new goal celebration after he failed to do his trademark ‘Siu!’ when he netted against Everton on Sunday.
The Portuguese star scored the winning goal in United’s 2-1 win at Goodison Park, latching onto an excellent pass Casemiro before rifling the ball beyond Jordan Pickford.
As well as securing maximum points for the Red Devils, the goal was also Ronaldo’s 700th in club football – making him only the second player after Josef Bican to achieve that landmark.
After netting, fans would have expected the 37-year-old to perform his usual ‘Siu!’ by the corner flag, but instead he debuted a new celebration.
After a brief hug with Marcus Rashford, Ronaldo leaned his head back, cupped his hands over his chest and closed his eyes as if he was asleep – with Antony joining in.
Supporters have been speculating over the meaning behind the celebration and now United revealed it was a reference to the many naps Ronaldo takes during the day, and the position he sleeps in, something which has been picked up on by his team-mates.
United’s website explained: ‘We can now reveal that Ronaldo’s celebration was a self-deprecating in-joke with his fellow team-mates, highlighting the strong bonds among the players in Erik ten Hag’s squad.
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‘Of course, Cristiano is renowned for looking after himself and ensuring he is always in the best possible condition, which naturally involves hours of hard work on the training pitch and in the gym.
‘It also includes resting at the right moments and ensuring he has enough sleep to aid his recovery: it has previously been reported that Ronaldo naps several times a day!
‘CR7’s celebration at Everton was amusingly a nod to the position in which he sleeps when travelling with the squad, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by his team-mates who are all eager to learn from him.’
Speaking about his latest milestone, Ronaldo said on social media after the game: ‘700 club goals. What a beautiful number we have achieved together! Thank you to all my team-mates, coaches, clubs, family and friends and of course my fans. United we continue!
On the 2-1 victory over Everton, he added: ‘Great win guys! Another step in the right direction!’