Gone are the days when football was merely a game whose potential to entertain and affect sat restrained to merely the performances of the players on the pitch week in and week out.
In fact, with the onslaught of social media, the antics that had their roots during match-days often go on and immortalize themselves through players and supporters, and their numerous trends and challenges.
While the nature of these challenges tends from the innovative to the absurd, the entertainment value they hold is undoubtable, made clear by the sheer reach they enjoy.
Now, Dele Alli may have created the latest trend in this cycle with his interesting goal celebration against Newcastle United earlier this week. The celebration has since gone on to create many waves, with supporters and teammates alike trying to replicate it.
At Manchester United, a mixed response has been seen amongst personnel attempting the challenge. While the likes of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Ashley Young, and Diogo Dalot had a breeze aping the hand gesture, Fred and Andreas Pereira didn’t taste success. Perhaps the Brazilian roots are what are holding the duo back.
But the most vehement response comes from Jesse Lingard, who, in addition to being able to flawlessly perform the celebration, also alleges that the Spurs player has, in fact, robbed his move.
In response, Lingard has gone on to launch the #JLingzChallenge, which while in its early stages, hasn’t rustled as many feathers as Alli’s.
WATCH: Man Utd Players Doing Dele Alli’s Goal Celebration
Featured as ‘impossible’, it is refreshing to see that a much lighter side exists to the otherwise commercially driven and competitive game.
However, this also begs the question as to how long it will take before even this innocent piece of banter is somehow monetized. What will be the next big challenge?