Kidiaba’s unusual dance on the pitch
There are weird ways to celebrate in the world of football but that of DR Congo goalkeeper Robert Muteba Kidiaba is one of a kind.
The flamboyant shot stopper – who wears his hair in a long ponytail – bounces on his bum on the ground as a way of celebrating each time his team scores.
Speaking to City Press through an interpreter this week, the TP Mazembe goal minder said his routine was inspired by a fitness exercise, which he turned into his way of celebrating a goal.
“It’s an exercise that strengthens abdominal muscles but I changed it into a celebration and I have been doing it since 1996,” said the 36-year-old.
Kidiaba’s bum bunny-hopper came to prominence during the Fifa Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2010.
The dance suddenly became a hit on social networks after Mazembe reached the final of the prestigious global club competition, where the DRC powerhouse lost to Italian giants Inter Milan.
Kidiaba caught the attention of South Africa at this Afcon when he celebrated DRC’s comeback from a 2-0 deficit against Ghana to a 2-2 draw at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last Sunday.
His celebration went viral on YouTube and had already racked up 65 000 hits at the time of writing.
“It makes me happy that many people like my celebration,” he said.
Kidiaba also paid tribute to the goalkeepers in the tournament for keeping the scorelines respectable for most of the opening round.
“The ’keepers have done very well in this competition and one of my favourites is (Itumeleng) Khune,” he said shortly after producing breathtaking saves in a goalless draw against Niger on Thursday.
Kidiabais expected to man the goal when the Leopards meet Mali in the final group match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban tomorrow night. Should DRC advance to the next round, more of Kidiaba’s dance will be seen.
- Daniel Mothowagae in Port Elizabeth