Wayne Rooney: Man Utd striker in 'knockout' boxing celebration

Wayne Rooney
Rooney, a boxing fan, appeared to be knocked out in a video with Phil Bardsley

Wayne Rooney celebrated Manchester United's third goal against Tottenham at Old Trafford with a boxing move, referencing a video that appears to show him being knocked out.

Earlier on Sunday a video emerged in which Rooney appeared to be knocked unconscious in a kitchen boxing bout.

The Sun on Sunday clipexternal-link claims to show the England striker sparring with Stoke City defender Phil Bardsley, at Rooney's home in Cheshire.

But after United's 3-0 win, the 29-year-old told Sky Sports: "That's the world we live in today.

"It's in my own home, it's not public, it's what friends do - they mess around in the house. It was a couple of mates in a private house, and somehow it's managed to get on the front page of a national newspaper."

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After Spurs gave the ball away in midfield Rooney bore down on goal before slotting calmly beyond Hugo Lloris in the 34th minute.

The Sun on Sunday reports the incident happened on 22 February, with Rooney given two days off after United's 2-1 defeat at Swansea the day before.

Coleen Rooney's Twitter page
Rooney's wife Coleen tweeted her reaction to his celebration

The video shows the two men exchanging several punches and grappling before Bardsley, who played for Manchester United between 2003 and 2008, hits Rooney with a left-hand jab.

When asked about the incident, United boss Louis van Gaal said: "In what a world we live that we are talking about such a thing - that a newspaper paid a lot for a video and I am answering questions about that.

"I don't want to answer questions about such things."

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker:external-link
"Terrific finish from Wayne Rooney and an even better celebration. If this were a boxing match they'd have stopped it by now."
Wayne Rooney
Rooney slotted the ball past Hugo Lloris to put his side three goals up
Wayne Rooney
He was played in on goal after Nabil Bentaleb gave the ball away
Wayne Rooney
Rooney was quickly surrounded by his team-mates

Here, BBC Sport looks at other celebrations where players have let their moves on the pitch respond to the headlines off it.

Get your head on that

Hull City's David Meyler headbutts corner flag
David Meyler referenced a controversial tussle with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew one week earlier

One week on from a controversial tussle in which he was head-butted by then-Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew, Hull midfielder David Meyler gave a corner flag at the KC Stadium the same treatment in his side's 3-0 win over Sunderland in March 2014.

Pardew was handed a seven-game ban for his actions, a Premier League record for a manager.

Old man Sam

Samuel Eto'o celebrates after putting Chelsea ahead
Jose Mourinho had made disparaging remarks about Samuel Eto'o's age

After Chelsea boss Joe Mourinho made disparaging comments about his age, then-Blues striker Samuel Eto'o went straight to the corner flag after scoring against Tottenham in March 2014 and mocked his manager by feigning a bad back.

Now with Serie A club Sampdoria, the former Cameroon international was 33 at the time.

Point to prove

David Ginola
Then-Aston Villa manager John Gregory had said Ginola was "carrying a bit of timber"

We have seen players point at the name on the back of a shirt to confidently tell a manager they should be a first-team shoo-in, but David Ginola had a somewhat different point he wanted to make in December 2000.

His manager at Aston Villa, John Gregory, had said the Frenchman was "carrying a bit of timber", so after equalising against Manchester City, Ginola summoned his inner Mr Universe and tensed up for the cameras.

Why always me?

Mario Balotelli
Fire crews were called to Balotelli's home, where fireworks had been set off in the bathroom

You score, lift your shirt and reveal a message. Nothing new there, but when Mario Balotelli does it, you know there will be fireworks.

Indeed, on the eve of Manchester City's 6-1 demolition of Manchester United in October 2011, fire crews were called to the Italian's home, where fireworks had been set off from the bathroom.

Balotelli hit the opening goal at Old Trafford and the message under his shirt read: "Why always me?"

The dentist's chair

Paul Gascoigne's goal for England against Scotland at Euro '96 needed no glitzy celebration, such was the quality of a solo effort which sealed a 2-0 win.

Paul Gascoigne's sublime Euro '96 goal against Scotland

Never one for shying away from the limelight though, Gascoigne used the moment to recreate an image which had made its way into national papers in the run-up to the tournament.

A group of England's players had been pictured enjoying a night out in Hong Kong, with striker Teddy Sheringham seen having drinks poured into his mouth while reclining in a chair.

Cue Gascoigne, Scotland, Wembley and a conveniently-placed sports bottle near the goalmouth to make light of the unwanted headlines.


Dundee players celebrating
Dundee's Gary Harkins and Jim McAlister recreated a wrestling move

Dundee players Gary Harkins and Jim McAlister recreated a World Wrestling Entertainment move - 12-time champion Randy Orton's signature 'RKO' finishing move - for the purposes of a comedy goal celebration.

McAlister ran and jumped backwards into goalscorer Harkins before pretending to grab his head and pull him down to the ground. All in the aid of celebrating their side's second goal in the 3-1 win at Motherwell in October 2014.

Bullard gives Phil Brown a talking to

Jimmy Bullard
Jimmy Bullard recreated a scene from 11 months previously

Hull City were 4-0 down before half-time at Manchester City in December 2008 and manager Phil Brown stopped his players from going into the dressing room, instead sitting them on the pitch and letting rip in front of a packed crowd.

The following season, at the same venue, Jimmy Bullard equalised and with Brown sat in the dugout, his midfielder decided to recreate the scene from 11 months earlier.

"I couldn't deliver my post-match speech as I was laughing so much," Brown said afterwards. "The whole thing was timed to perfection."


Craig Bellamy
Bellamy's goal had put Liverpool level at Barcelona

Craig Bellamy headed Liverpool level at Barcelona in February 2007 and executed a golf swing which would not have looked out of place at Augusta National.

It sounds largely uneventful, but the Welshman was hitting back at pre-match headlines about him attacking team-mate John Arne Riise with a golf club.

Liverpool went on to win the game 2-1, with Riise netting the second.

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