Dancing Colombia set bar for wild World Cup celebrations

Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:23am EDT
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By Andrew Cawthorne

CARACAS (Reuters) - Forgotten for a moment who won the 1990 World Cup?

Maybe, but if you are old enough, it's impossible not to remember Roger Milla's hip-shaking celebrations for Cameroon or Salvatore Toto Schillaci's euphorically bulging eyes as he wheeled away from goal-after-goal for Italy.

Tournaments down the years have often been as memorable for their clever and crazy celebrations as the actual trophy winners.

This time, Colombia have laid early claim to the abiding image from Brazil with nifty tropical dances after their goals in a joyful return to the World Cup following a 16-year absence.

Left back Pablo Armero, who has a history of dancing for club and country, led the way after scoring against Greece in the opening game in the fifth minute.

The rhythmic 27-year-old raced to his bench, crossed himself, called team mates around, and then led a clearly rehearsed but nonetheless fabulous dance of salsa steps and raised arms that quickly went viral back home.

The dances have just kept on coming as Colombia have stormed through to the last 16 for the first time since 1990.

"No-one expected much from Colombia at this World Cup. Now we've shown we can score great goals and dance better than anyone else!" said fan Andres Menendez, copying the dance with friends in the street after seeing Colombia's opening 3-0 win over Greece in Belo Horizonte.   Continued...

Colombia's Pablo Armero celebrates after their win against Japan as he leaves the pitch after their 2014 World Cup Group C soccer match at the Pantanal arena in Cuiaba June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem