How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card (2024)

You know the routine. It starts when Cristiano Ronaldo scores.

Then he finds a TV camera. That’s the Big Tell that the Big Celebration is coming. Not just a clenched fist and jump this time — when Ronaldo is looking for a camera, he is setting himself up for something Big.

Then, there is the approach, typically paired with the spinning hand. This is the preamble; the “get ready” to the crowd.


Then comes the leap and pirouette: the bit that takes it from traditional celebration to personal calling card.

Any football player can jump, but Ronaldo has one of the highest leaps in world football. He has the leg power to fling himself higher than most, and the body control to twist his hips at the highest point to maximise his hang time.

He developed those skills to score headers at the back post, but Ronaldo’s jumping ability makes this part even more memorable. Even if you try to match the actions, you would not be able to match the height and power Ronaldo gets on his leap.

That he brings his arms across his chest in an X shape also helps: first he is small, and then he is BIG.

The crescendo comes as he completes his spin and lands. Arms outstretched. Back to camera so you can read “Ronaldo 7”.

And there’s the exclamation — “SIU!” — that is likely being shouted back at him by thousands of fans in the stadium and plenty more watching on television.

How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card (1)

The approach (Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card (2)

The leap (Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card (4)

The exclamation (Photo: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The Siu is a sophisticated form of personal branding that has plenty in common with a WWE wrestler’s finishing move. Children enjoy imitating the celebration. Football fans enjoy saying it, either in support of Ronaldo or as an ironic jeer after he misses a scoring opportunity.

It is, arguably, the most famous and most copied scoring celebration performed by a player today.

Here’s a potted guide to how the Siu became part of football culture.

Why does Ronaldo do the SIU?

“I started to say ‘Si’ — it’s like ‘Yes’ — when I was in Real Madrid,” said Ronaldo in a 2019 interview with

“When we would win, everyone would say ‘Siiiii’ and so I started to say it. I don’t know why, it was natural.

“I was in the USA and we played against Chelsea (ahead of the 2013-14 season) and I don’t know where this is coming from, the celebration.


“I just scored the goal (in a 3-0 pre-season victory) and it just came out. It was just natural, to be honest. Since that, I started to do it more often and I feel like the supporters and the fans see it and they’re like ‘Cristiano, Siiiiiiuuuu’.

“I’m like ‘Wow! People are reminded of me because of it!’. So it’s good, and I’ll continue doing it like that.”

The Siu shout is an important part of branding to Ronaldo; his “Yes! Remember me!”. The forward closed his 2014 Ballon d’Or winning speech by shouting the refrain, later explaining it as a Real Madrid ritual after he scores or the team wins.

The Siu celebration often works to make Ronaldo’s scruffier, less memorable goals more exciting. Few United fans will remember how he scored his first goal of a hat-trick against Norwich in April 2022. But those who watched the game at Old Trafford or on television may remember he celebrated it with a Siu with Anthony Elanga. Yet he is still doing it, and it is so widespread now that even Sheriff Tiraspol fans joined in when he got off the bus for the Europa League match in Moldova tonight — and then when he scored against them from the penalty spot just before half-time.

One does not score 800-plus career goals without a few being scruffy or forgettable; it was during his first stint at Manchester United that coach Rene Meulensteen implored Ronaldo to focus less on aesthetics and learn to love scoring tap-ins. So the Siu also works as Ronaldo’s way to insert entertainment into goals that have lacked some.

The more prolonged “I’m about to jump now” also serves as a warning to the fans: “Get your phone out and record the punchline to this celebration, in case you missed the goal itself.”

The Siu is Ronaldo’s trademark; a collector’s item for the CR7 aficionado. But like many showmen, it is not one he repeats every time…

Ronaldo’s pre-SIU lifestyle

“I think this needs saying as a public service announcement: the key to a good celebration is not doing it too often,” wrote Peter Crouch in February 2022. “You don’t want anybody turning round saying: ‘Oh, here he goes again’.”

Ronaldo does not celebrate every goal with his leaping pirouette. The frequency and consistency of his goals over the past 20 years have seen periods where he opts for a particular celebration for a short space of time, but broadly speaking*, after Ronaldo scores, he is likely to do one of four things:

  1. A euphoric gesture with his arms. Much of Ronaldo’s first stint at United came with him celebrating a goal with his arms aloft and a triumphant shout. At Real Madrid, he would often celebrate with both of his arms outstretched, running to the crowd.
  2. A “Yes we did it” gesture, where Ronaldo would pair up with a team-mate (typically Marcelo during their time at Real Madrid), where they would perform a short routine.
  3. A visceral explosion of emotion where Ronaldo would often remove his shirt.
  4. And the final tier, the very special “Yes, it is I, the great Ronaldo, the greatest goalscorer of all time. The GOAT of football who has scored a goal that only someone of my calibre could score”.

How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card (5)

Ronaldo and Marcelo at Real Madrid would sometimes celebrate with a routine (Photo: Power Sport Images/Getty Images)

(*There was a short period of time in 2011 where Ronaldo celebrated his goals by making a claw-like gesture with both of his hands, in honour of a gesture his then newborn son would perform around the house. In addition to this, Ronaldo is an interesting case of muted celebrations. He did not opt for a restrained celebration when he was a Manchester United player and scored against Sporting Lisbon in the 2007-08 Champions League, but he did offer a small apology after scoring for Real Madrid against United in the 2012-13 Champions League knockouts. He did not refrain from celebrating against United when he scored for Juventus in the 2018-19 group stages, instead opting to show the world his abs. Ronaldo celebrates how he wants. He apologises when he feels like it.)


It is that final grouping where Ronaldo’s most memorable celebrations — including the Siu — occur. It was on April 21, 2012, that Ronaldo first performed the “Calma Calma” celebration, pointing to his chest and assuring Real Madrid fans that Barcelona would be defeated during a particularly frantic Clasico.

How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card (6)

Ronaldo performing the ‘Calma Calma’ against Barcelona in 2012 (Photo: Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

Also in 2012, the forward scored a long-range effort against Osasuna before pointing to his thigh muscle, flexing to the rest of the Real Madrid bench and delivering on an inside joke to backup goalkeeper Antonio Adan, who apparently skipped leg day at the gym.

In November 2016, Ronaldo took inspiration from Auguste Rodin’s statue “The Thinker” to celebrate a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid. All of these celebrations are replicable within the FIFA series of video games — a rare feat for any modern footballer.

But none of these celebrations has been imitated in real life as much as the Siu.

“Pure emotion. I could not control it, it just happened like that,” Marko Grujic told Bild in January 2019. The Serbia international had opted to use the Siu in celebration of a goal scored against FC Schalke. “I look up to Ronaldo. He is a great role model for me because he works obsessively on his development.”

Marko Grujic on his Cristiano Ronaldo celebration:

“It was pure emotion. I could not control it, it just happened like that. I look up to Ronaldo.”


— GOAL (@goal) January 28, 2019

“I love to live as professionally as possible and to prioritise everything else after it. Messi may be the more talented player, but Ronaldo has worked it all out.”

Grujic is one of many players to have borrowed Ronaldo’s celebration over the years.

Sergio Ramos had a go with the Siu after goals against Atletico Madrid and Osasuna. The defender opts to point towards the name on his back when he completes the leap.


Paulo Dybala added his “gladiator mask” celebration to the Siu after opening the scoring for Juventus against Frosinone on February 15, 2019.

In a pre-season friendly in July 2019, members of an All Star Team from South Korea’s top flight engaged in a mass Siu following a goal against Juventus. Ronaldo, who was on the bench for the friendly, mustered a small smile at the tribute.

K League All Stars drew 3-3 with Juventus, and after scoring their second goal, their players did Ronaldo’s celebration! 😂

— GOAL (@goal) July 26, 2019

Emmanuel Dennis used the celebration to announce his Club Bruges side to a broader European audience after scoring against Real Madrid in October 2019.

Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse used the celebration for parts of the 2019-20 season.

Federico Chiesa also partook in the celebration after Ronaldo scored against Napoli on April 7, 2021.

Jesse Lingard added a #JLingz flourish to his Siu after scoring for England during a World Cup qualifier against Andorra in September 2021. The attacker described the celebration as “a little welcoming gift” to Ronaldo after United had re-acquired his services.

A week later, Joao Palhinha used the celebration scoring for Portugal against Luxembourg.

Speak to those within the world of professional wrestling, and they will tell you the importance of a good finishing move. The practices of WWE and other companies are the result of more than 100 years of performance art, harking back to fun fairs and carnival attractions.

Every good wrestler needs a good finishing move — a moment where the crowd grasp that something important is about to happen.

The Siu is Ronaldo’s finishing move; an action he performs to a crowd that has inspired numerous imitators but has only been perfected by its originator.


In DC Comics, the young hero Billy Batson can transform into a musclebound hero with the call of “Shazam”. Shazam is a hero with the gifts of ancient gods and looks like what a teenage boy would imagine a superhero to look like.

Ronaldo has gone to great lengths to market himself as a superhero. His physique, his free-kick routine, his many other non-Siu goalscoring celebrations: Ronaldo imbues his game with pomp and circ*mstance. He revels in the hard work necessary to maintain his place on the football mountain, yet insists football is fun.

It is not enough that he is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time and holds the record for the most goals scored in professional football (we think). Ronaldo refers to himself as the G.O.A.T – Greatest of all Time. The Siu is a small way for Ronaldo to continue to burnish his image.

He might not always be the best football player or finish every league campaign with the golden boot, but few players will ever match him for the number of notable goal celebrations given to the world.

The Siu is his calling card. A goal celebration by way of WWE and amateur theatre.

How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card (2024)


How Ronaldo made iconic 'SIU!' celebration his personal calling card? ›

Read more on Ronaldo

What does the siu celebration mean? ›

Ronaldo's trademark goal celebration sees him perform a mid-air pirouette before exclaiming "si!" (sometimes spelled "siu") - which is Spanish for "yes!" - upon landing.

What is Ronaldo saying in Siuuu? ›

Meaning 'yes' in Portuguese, the Al-Nassr and Portugal forward's 'Siu' celebration has been imitated not only by his fans but also by professional athletes cutting across various sports. He is believed to have first screamed 'Siu' after winning the 2014 Ballon d'Or, which was his third such individual award.

Who created the SIU celebration? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo's “siuu” celebration is one of the most iconic in sports. The Portuguese superstar first performed the celebration in 2013, after scoring a goal for Real Madrid against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League.

What is the iconic celebration of cr7? ›

This unforgettable moment occurred when the attacker wore the shirt ofReal Madrid, the club in which he was immortalized as the best player in its history. This happened on August 7, 2013, when he celebrated a goal that way for the first time with a move that is still the most imitated in the world of sports.


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