50 Best GIFs so Far This Season
Although a game lasts 90 minutes, there are sometimes those glimpses of magic in football that only need a few seconds to capture the moment. For that reason, it's a good thing that GIFs are the latest trend to have become a part of the normal news cycle.
Scouring the deepest, darkest trenches of the football community, we've unearthed a collection of the funniest and most exciting Graphics Interchange Formats since the beginning of the 2013/14 campaign.
Whether it's on or off the pitch, edited for dramatic effect or just downright entertaining in its original format, browse on for some of the most encapsulating five-second marvels you're likely to see this term.
Of course, the entire season thus far isn't available in GIF format (we're hoping to change that), but the following 50 gems are the best of what has been caught.
1. Edinson Cavani's Free Kick Ping
As if things weren't bad enough for Jordan 4-0 down in the first leg of their inter-confederation World Cup playoff against Uruguay, Edinson Cavani had to go and bag this fifth for the visitors.
The goalkeeper's hands-on-hips reaction tells the tale.
2. Tim Krul Triple Save vs. Tottenham
Newcastle haven't been the most consistently strong defense this season, but Tim Krul's historical performance against Spurs in mid-November urged the Magpies to a 1-0 win.
This tremendous triple save helped.
3. Xabi Alonso Nutmegs Zinedine Zidane Without Looking
It happens to the best of them.
Zinedine Zidane, now a coach at Real Madrid, gets outwitted by one of the club's current stars, Xabi Alonso, with a no-look nutmeg.
4. Michael Essien Gets It All Wrong
Michael Essien hasn't played a lot of football this season, despite the fact that Jose Mourinho, his old Chelsea boss, returned to the club holding a promise for more playing time.
Therefore, the Ghanaian is bound to be a bit rusty. It showed during this Capital One Cup win over Arsenal.
5. Neymar Pleas with Cameras for Barca Substitution
At every player's core, they start out as nothing more than a kid who simply loves to play The Beautiful Game, and Neymar is no exception.
Upon catching wind that the camera was on him, the Brazilian chose to appeal to those watching while sitting on Barcelona's bench earlier in the season, seemingly gesturing to be subbed on.
6. Kyle Walker Gives Andros Townsend a Fright
Andros Townsend showed some scarily good form near the start of the season, which was enough to get him into Roy Hodgson's England setup.
Kyle Walker showed in this clip from inside White Hart Lane that the right-back can be just as gruesome, giving his teammate a Halloween surprise.
7. Fernando Amorebieta Gives Dejan Lovren a Thump on the Rear
What's the most natural reaction when you're strength and pace has been beaten by a fellow defender?
For Fulham's Fernando Amorebieta, it's a stern punch to the rectum, as shown here against Southampton's Dejan Lovren.
That'll show him.
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic Defines "Thronker"
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a raft of spectacular goals already this season, and the truth is you could take your pick of the bunch.
As things stand, this outside-the-box bullet is arguably at the top during a Champions League fixture against Anderlecht.
9. Arturo Vidal: Worst Dive of the Season
No, we're not sure exactly what Arturo Vidal was thinking when attempting to deceive officials with this ridiculous dive against Real Madrid, either.
Regardless of whether or not Asier Ilarramendi made contact before, the ensuing reaction is something of which to be ashamed.
10. What Really Happened for Vidal's Dive
On second thought, there may have been something we didn't see the first time around.
11. Pajtim Kasami Goal-of-the-Season Contender
Pajtim Kasami took the initiative against Crystal Palace earlier this season and got an early contender on for goal of the Premier League campaign.
Chesting the ball sumptuously into his path, the Fulham midfielder aimed across the goal and proceeded to scorch one past Julian Speroni, who simply had no chance.
12. Juergen Klopp Blows His Top
For many managers, the Champions League is the pinnacle of world football.
It clearly means a lot to Juergen Klopp. After watching his side go down against Napoli, the Borussia Dortmund manager proceeded to flip out on the fourth official, completely losing all sense of calm.
It's something you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy.
13. FIFA 14 Produces a Worrying Glitch
FIFA 14 is the only football game (that isn't for PC or Mac) that anyone's talking about this season, not least of which is for its reputation to produce some eerily choreographed motions.
In this edition, one can expect to see players getting closer than ever, and probably not for the better.
14. Roda Goalkeeper Concedes Hilarious Own Goal
The first rule taught in a lot of sports, football being among them, is "never take your eye off the ball."
Roda goalkeeper Filip Kurto should be one of those paying attention to the old adage more than anyone else, but he might have missed that lesson.
Rebounding right off his noggin, the stopper helped Utrecht claim a 3-3 Eredivisie draw.
15. Vito Mannone Prays to God with Aaron Ramsey Descending
Aaron Ramsey has been like a possessed demon this season, so really, Vito Mannone is only right to think that praying against the Arsenal midfielder might have a positive outcome on his chances of stopping the Welshman.
It's still hilarious, however, to see a goalkeeper actually making the sign of the cross with a player coming down on them.
16. German Fourth-Tier Team Scores Set-Piece Magic
Rot-Weiss Essen will likely finish this season with the award for best free-kick routine, thanks to this magnificent piece of innovation against Wattenscheid 09.
Konstantin Fring was the man who put the finishing touches on the goal for the German fourth-tier team, but it was really a team effort.
17. Ian Holloway Showcasing His Dancing Skills Once Again
Far from the only dancing GIF on this list, Ian Holloway has been caught getting groovy on camera in the past, too.
This season's best entry thus far, though, was thanks to Ollie's bopping technique on the sidelines after Crystal Palace went up against Sunderland.
Clearly, being able to get jiggy with it doesn't improve one's chances as a Premier League manager.
18. Jack Wilshere Finishes Sublime Arsenal Team Goal
For everything that Kasami's aforementioned goal had in terms of wallop and explosive finishing, Jack Wilshere finished a team goal against Norwich City at the very other end of the spectrum.
One-touch football all the way, the Gunners netted this goal of true world-class quality—each player as in-sync with the next—in what could well be voted the Premier League goal of the season.
19. Kolo Toure Doing "The Sturridge"
It may be Daniel Sturridge's trademark dance, but some savvy editor shows us what it would look like if Kolo Toure caught on.
We like the Ivorian's better.
20. Neil Lennon Finds out Celtic's Champions League Draw
Neil Lennon just can't catch a break in Europe, and the Celtic boss clearly wasn't pleased upon finding out that his side had been drawn against Barcelona, Milan and Ajax—three of the most prestigious clubs in the world—in this year's Champions League.
It was the second term in succession that Lennon faced Barca, and what's really funny is the contrast in Scott Brown's reaction in the background.
21. Arsenal Figures Appear on Supermarket Sweep
Arsenal were this summer and ever will be one of the clubs who draw massive amounts of intrigue during the transfer window.
This well-edited piece shows what life would be like if Arsene Wenger, Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis were to appear on an episode of Supermarket Sweep.
22. Strange Hooded Figures Appear in Turin
As the Daily Mail explain, hooded figures popping up at stadiums around Europe in recent weeks was part of a viral marketing campaign that German legend Franz Beckenbauer had a hand in himself.
Nevertheless, the initial sight of these weirdos grooving from side to side in unison will have creeped out many a Juventus fan.
23. Harry Redknapp Takes a Ball to the Face
Balls in the face are a hazard that come part and parcel of being involved in this sport, and Harry Redknapp got caught flush with during WPR's trip to Millwall earlier this season.
The only thing worse than a stadium full of fans laughing at is for the opposition to then go and score directly from the throw-in.
Poor form all round.
24. Paolo Di Canio Loses His Rag After Sessegnon Goal
Paolo Di Canio's short-lived reign at the Stadium of Light has been noted due to the Italian's fiery temper, which it's nice to see hasn't waned since he made the switch to management.
After seeing West Brom's Stephane Sessegnon score against his side just weeks after selling the player himself, Di Canio lays into assistant manager Fabrizio Piccareta.
We're not lip-readers, never mind Italian lip-readers, but we like to think PDC was saying something along the lines of: "Where the hell were you? You're just sitting here while he's scoring goals like that? Get out there!"
25. Leonardo Ulloa Channels the Spirit of Bruce Lee
Just what was running through Leonardo Ulloa's head when he made this leaping challenge against Reading is anyone's guess, but the outcome is a red card for his troubles.
Sometimes, it's not uncommon to imagine a particular song in order for a player to get pumped up. In this instance, Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" may not have been the best choice for the Argentinian.
26. One Direction's Louis Tomlinson Throws Up at Charity Match
Not everyone's cut out for the life of a professional football, and One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson got just a small taste of the lifestyle in a charity game earlier this year.
The boyband member promptly through up after being subbed off.
What a lightweight.
27. Daniel Sturridge and Kolo Toure Get Down
We told you there was more dancing.
Again, this GIF involves Kolo Toure, but the Liverpool centre-back takes a back seat so that Sturridge can strut his stuff in Fresh Prince of Bel Air get-up, and all.
Careful not to look at this image for too long; people have been known to go mad staring at it.
28. Liverpool Players React to Mignolet Penalty Save
This season has seen Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool reach new heights, shooting into Premier League contention, and a win over Stoke City is where it all started.
The emotion on display among the players after new signing Simon Mignolet pulled off this last-minute penalty save showcases all that's great about sport.
29. Craig Bellamy Sprays Referee with Water
Craig Bellamy has never been one to shy away from the spotlight and it only took the Welshman a matter of days to get back into his controversial ways upon returning to the Premier League.
The Cardiff City forward sprays referee Lee Probert with water here, and is fortunate the official saw the funnier side of things.
30. Robin Van Persie Relentless in Arsenal Goal Celebration
Since moving to Manchester United, Robin van Persie has scored in all three Premier League appearances he's made against former club Arsenal.
In the first two of those matches, the Dutchman refused to celebrate with much gusto out of respect for the Gunners.
He certainly changed his views by the third time of asking.
31. Cristiano Ronaldo Ghosts Through Juventus Defence
Cristiano Ronaldo is enjoying arguably his best season to date, scoring 24 goals in his first 17 outings for Real Madrid this season.
This run during a Champions League tie against Juventus perfectly sums up the Portuguese's dribbling ability, calm and supremely talented touch.
32. The Yellow Wall Reacts to Arsenal Goal
The Yellow Wall is one of the most fearsome displays of fan support known to World Football, Borussia Dortmund's die-hard supporters being noted for their combination of vast numbers and unwavering allegiance.
As 101GreatGoals.com note, this fooled a lot of people (including me) in that it only went viral after Aaron Ramsey's winner against the Black and Yellows in November, but is actually from the Champions League final from the 2012/13 campaign.
Nonetheless, its application at the time is well-timed.
33. 50 Cent Reacts to Arsenal's Transfer Window Misfortune
In hindsight, this may have been put together a tad prematurely as the club now sit atop the Premier League and are on their way to having the last laugh.
However, that doesn't change the fact that 50 Cent chuckling away at the Gunners' failed attempts to bring in a world-class striker is genius.
The rap mogul giving Luis Suarez a lift in his convertible is just the killer touch.
34. Philippe Coutinho Retreats from Bacary Sagna
Why can't we all just get along?
Philippe Coutinho hasn't long been a part of the English top flight, but is quickly becoming acquainted with how harsh an environment it can be.
Against Arsenal, the Brazilian made the decision to front up to Bacary Sagna.
35. Belgian Player Misses Penalty, Scores Bicycle Kick Golazo
What does one do when they miss a penalty in front of teammates, fans and management?
Slink away in shyness?
Strut off an remain confident you'll do better next time?
Why waste all that time when you can just execute one of the peachiest overhead kicks you're likely to see this season?
36. Arsenal Fans' Reaction to Mesut Ozil Injury Rumours
This mock-up doesn't actually feature any football figures and is in fact years old, but its application to a relevant transfer topic meant that it's as suitable as any other piece of satire.
Read the slide title to find out why this scene from The IT Crowd is so apt.
37. Legia Warsaw Fans Rebel Against UEFA
As Who Ate All The Pies report, Legia Warsaw fans were handed a UEFA sanction for racist behaviour earlier this season, the Polish club told to pay a fine of €30,000 and close their stadium's north stand.
In a second-leg Champions League tie against Steaua Bucharest, the supporters then unveiled a huge UEFA banner, standing for Ultra Extreme Fanatical Atmosphere.
In no way is the inclusion of this to support their actions in any way, but the response they gave is a visual spectacle to behold.
38. Cristiano Ronaldo Mocks Mikael Lustig
Cristiano Ronaldo is a player regularly caught up in diving controversies himself, so to see him react to another's simulation is magical.
Mikael Lustig's face-clutching technique was what grabbed the attacker's eye during Portugal's World Cup playoff against Sweden, to which he had this to say.
39. Arsene Wenger Makes It Rain
Arguably the best GIF one's likely to see in 2013, this was created in the fallout of Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil for a club record fee of £42.5 million.
We can only hope that the North Londoners continue to shell out the big bucks so that there's more excuses to use this image.
40. Gary Roberts De-Pantses Cheltenham Player
Anyone who says lower league football is of a worse standard than the English top flight has absolutely lost their marbles.
After all, where else can one see Chesterfield's Gary Roberts pulling down the shorts of Cheltenham's Russell Penn?
That's what I thought.
41. Gaspar Iniguez Loses Three Teeth Tackling with His Head
This image made the rounds after Argentinos Juniors midfielder Gaspar Iniguez took the term "using your head" to a completely new level.
BBC Sport confirmed after the clash with Boca Juniors that Iniguez had in fact lost three teeth as a result of the challenge.
Bad choice just doesn't cut it.
42. Thierry Henry Makes Feelings Known with Interpretive Dance
Players complaining to the referee once they believe they've been fouled has to be among one of the most annoying sights at the professional level, with many incapable of just getting up and getting on with the game.
For Thierry Henry, we're so glad that it's not that easy. In fact, he can take as much as he wants doing this. Mocking the officials with a sarcastic dance just became hip.
43. Jose Mourinho's Stamford Bridge Return Is Official
For the average football fan, this is a pretty cool sight, so one can only imagine what it felt like to see The Special One hold up the blue of Chelsea once again this summer.
All results this season aside and regardless of how his club is now faring, this image made the rounds and then some upon its release, as one of the greatest managers of all time returned to his former stomping ground.
44. Diego Godin Urges Atleti to Hit Messi Where It Hurts
During a Spanish Supercup encounter with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid defender Godin urged teammate Joan Miranda to hit Lionel Messi in his thigh, which he was aware had previously been injured.
It's not a very nice side of the Uruguayan, although he's not exactly known for his soft and fluffy approach.
45. Cristiano Ronaldo Embraces Pitch Invader
As arguably the best player in the world, one might forgive Cristiano Ronaldo for having a bit of an inflated ego and not necessarily obliging every fan that stray into his vicinity.
However, not only did he acknowledge this particular pitch invader, he proceeded to give him an actual hug during Real Madrid's preseason friendly against Chelsea.
Not only that, but the Daily Mail's Adam Shergold has since reported that Ronaldo wrote to the Florida attorney handling the case asking for all charges to be dropped against the fan.
46. Pep Guardiola's Impression of a Ballerina
Pep Guardiola may as well just make "No Inhibitions" the tagline for his reign at Bayern Munich after being caught letting his inner Ballerina out during training.
Honestly, we have no idea what's going on here.
47. Child Showcases Insane Rainbow Flick
Through hours of examining, we still haven't been able to determine whether or not this GIF of a child not much older than three or four pulling off a rainbow flick is real.
If anyone does know for sure, please free to make us aware.
One can only hope it is indeed fake, otherwise a lot of us are underachieving.
48. Motherwell Academy Players' Header Challenge
Try and do that twice.
Scottish youth football gained a lot more followers after Motherwell's academy youngsters ricocheted their way from one end of the changing room to another.
The blurred camera at the end says it all.
49. Portugal Players Mob Cristiano Ronaldo After Sweden Hat-Trick
The man who almost single-handedly put Portugal in next year's World Cup, Ronaldo deserves 1,000 dog-piles for the hat-trick scored in the second leg of their playoff against Sweden earlier this week.
However, the Portuguese talisman had to settle for just the one on the night in an image that fully encapsulated the team's desire to book that flight to Brazil, with the main man at its epicentre.
50. Miguel Herrera Goes Super Saiyan
In the effort of finishing with a bang, there's no bigger bang that of Mexican manager Miguel Herrera going super saiyan.
Following in the footsteps of many a Dragonball Z great, Herrera recently saw his team qualify for the 2014 World Cup, too, and while this GIF is actually from another celebration, we wouldn't seeing the El Tri boss transform more often in the future.
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