October 5, 2016
As a professional footballer, scoring for your team in front of a stadium full of adoring fans is an ecstasy filled moment. It lead former England player Chris Waddle to describe scoring a goal as ‘better than sex’. Goal celebrations have become a popular part of the game, but theres one celebration which has now been banished from football for the foreseeable future.
‘I belong to Jesus’ by Rick Banks & Craig Oldham, is a collection of stories and images of that once famous ritual of lifting your shirt mid goal celebration to reveal a message to fans and tv audiences. Delivered with a t shirt and armband, the book is a graphic portrayal of a goal celebration that was banned by Fifa in 2014.
The title of the book is taken from the famous goal celebration of former Brazilian footballer Kaka. Seemingly a non-offensive personal message and the like wasn’t to the liking of the World footballers governing body, and so any messages even if their intention was charitable or good natured was no longer allowed.
The book ‘a visual discussion on an increasing disconnect between its players and supporters’ is divided in to 4 sections; Folklore, Religion, Politics and Personal. Some of the entries are more recognisable than others. In the Folklore section the infamous ‘Why always me?’ t shirt reveal by Mario Balotelli is instantly recognisable. Others are not so familiar though like the story about Ezra Hendrickson a player from the Major Soccer League in America. He became synonymous with icon Bob Marley after regularly wearing a black shirt with a colourful image of the musicians face.
For someone who is interested in football and the graphical elements in sport, this is a great read and the book is a nice reference for those celebrations that we will no longer see. The authors also designed the font used throughout the book which is available from the I belong to Jesus website.