Why Do Soccer Players Kiss the Ground?

After scoring a goal in soccer, you often witness players kneeling and kissing the ground, prompting questions about the motivation behind this act.

For Muslim players, this action holds a profound meaning as they bow down to the ground, expressing gratitude to Allah(God) for their achievement.

It symbolizes a connection between their faith and the joy of scoring.

On the flip side, for some players, this ritual is not a religious practice but a personal superstition or a spontaneous expression of happiness.

Kissing the ground becomes a unique way for players to celebrate the culmination of their efforts on the field.

Digging deeper into the significance of this celebration reveals a mosaic of cultural, religious, and personal influences in the world of soccer.

It adds an extra layer of humanity and authenticity to the game, showing the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of the players.

The next time you see a player engaging in this ritual, you can appreciate the intricate nature of their actions, understanding that it goes beyond the immediate joy of scoring and reflects a tapestry of individual stories and beliefs within the beautiful game.

Reasons Why Players Kiss The Ground

Kissing the grass in football
Hector Bellerin of Arsenal kisses the pitch as he celebrates scoring an equalizing goal to bring the final score to 2-2 during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on January 21, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The act of kissing the ground in soccer isn’t something new; it’s rooted in the early days of the sport.

Many players, especially those from countries steeped in soccer tradition, started playing in open fields, streets, or dusty pitches.

These humble beginnings encouraged a profound appreciation for the ground where they cultivated their skills and passion for soccer.

It’s a practice that transcends time and symbolizes a deep connection to the origins of their journey in the beautiful game.

The tradition is evidence of the raw, grassroots nature of football, where joy, love, and dedication were cultivated on makeshift fields.

When players kiss the ground, it’s more than a routine celebration; it’s a homage to the places that molded their soccer identity.

It signifies a shared sentiment among players worldwide – a recognition of the unpretentious roots that bind them to the essence of the game.

Cultural and Religious Influences

For some players, kissing the ground is a meaningful gesture tied to their culture or religion.

Soccer, being a global sport, attracts players from all walks of life who carry their unique traditions onto the field.

In some cultures, touching or kissing the ground signifies respect and gratitude, recognizing the earth’s role in supporting life and serving as the stage for their sports journey.

While the religious part is synonyms with the Muslims, the bowing to the ground also seen as kissing the ground is known as Sujud in Islam.

It involves the player placing their palms and forehead on the ground while reciting a prayer to honor Allah.

For soccer players who practice Islam, scoring a goal becomes more than just a sporting achievement; it transforms into a profound moment of expressing gratitude to Allah.

During the Sujud, players recite a prayer “Subhan Rabbiya al-A’la” which essentially translates to “Glory be to my Lord, the High!”

This act is a tangible display of their faith, symbolizing a connection to something beyond the game. It’s a personal and deeply meaningful ritual, representing a moment of humility and acknowledgment of their dependence on a higher power.

The Sujud goes beyond the physical act of scoring; it serves as a spiritual pause, a brief connection between the player and their faith amidst the excitement of the game.

In those seconds of bowing, players publicly declare their devotion, making it a unique and culturally rich aspect of the diverse expressions seen on the soccer field.

Expressing Gratitude

Some players also kiss the ground to show gratitude for their achievements or for overcoming tough times.

The soccer field becomes like a sacred place where players invest a lot of their time, energy, and emotions.

Kissing the ground is like a spontaneous burst of emotion, a way of saying thanks for the sacrifices made, and recognizing the challenges faced to reach important milestones or win crucial matches.

It’s more than just a celebration; it’s a heartfelt acknowledgment of the journey, the hard work, and the ups and downs that brought them to that moment.

When you see a player kissing the ground, it’s like they’re saying, “This field means everything to me. I’ve been through a lot here, and this kiss is for the struggles and the victories.

It’s a simple yet powerful way for players to express the deep connection they feel with the game, the field, and the journey that brought them to that specific moment of triumph.

Connection to Fans and Home Soil

Kissing the grass in football goes beyond personal beliefs; it’s a connection to fans and home turf.

Fans are a big part of the beautiful game, and players share a strong bond with those who support them in good times and bad.

When players kiss the ground, it’s like giving back the love and support they get from the fans.

It’s not just about individual victories; it’s a shared celebration, symbolizing a connection between players and their devoted fanbase.

The ground kiss represents more than personal achievement; it’s a collective experience, a unity between players and fans in the joy of the game.

It goes beyond the soccer field, creating a sense of togetherness that extends beyond wins and losses.

It’s not just a gesture; it’s a way of saying, “This victory is ours, shared with the fans who make the game so special.”

Overcoming Adversity

After winning or overcoming personal struggles, players might kiss the ground to show resilience and perseverance.

The football pitch, with its ups and downs, turns into a symbolic battleground where players strive for success.

Kissing the grass becomes a strong symbol of overcoming tough times, a real link to the challenges faced, and a celebration of both personal and team victories.

It’s a way for players to say, “I made it through the hard times, and this ground witnessed it all.”

The ground kiss captures the essence of the battles on the field, turning them into meaningful triumphs.

It’s a profound act that speaks to the strength players find in facing adversity.