Jesse Lingard has revealed how he decided to create his own trademark celebration ahead of a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in December.
The 25-year-old garnered a reputation for stylish celebrations last season, producing moves inspired by artists such as Playboy Carti, Bobby Shmurda, BlocBoy JB, Young Thug and Krept and Konan.
His now renowned ‘JLingz’ celebration was first unfurled following a deflected effort against West Brom, which appeared to be a reference to the song ‘No Face’ by 67.
But Lingard, speaking in the Lion’s Den on Thursday, explained how the celebration – seen around the world following his sumptuous curling effort against Panama last weekend – was intended to show his initials.
“You know what, before the West Brom me and Marucs were speaking and I said, ‘I need to come up with a celebration for myself,'” he said.
“I was doing mad stuff, I was (putting my hands in front of me), looking at them JL, and I thought if someone is looking at it it is going to make LJ.
“So I turned it around, and bam, like that, done! Five minutes!”
A large portion of social media would look at this and feel their blood boiling with anger. How dare he, they would say, how dare he have the audacity to create a celebration for himself! Who does he think he is? Ronaldo??
But, see, this kind of eccentricity, that sense of freedom and audacity and not caring what others think, is integral to Lingard’s effervescence on and off the pitch. That is the person he is. And this kind of attitude appears to be percolating into the England side as a whole, providing a happy contrast to the neurosis and infighting of the past.
Bit by bit, the older generation will warm to this bubbling, darting, live wire of a talent, who proved everyone wrong to get where he is today – especially if England continue to impress at this tournament.