Image alt text here

Scorer Benteke: My goal celebration is a thank-you to God

Villa 3-2 Malaga match programme: Copies still available on eBay West Ham U21 v Villa U21: Live audio/text commentary from 7pm
Scorer Benteke: My goal celebration is a thank-you to God


Christian Benteke bagged a brace against Malaga and then confirmed the divine inspiration behind his popular goal celebration - God.

Benteke says his faith is vitally important to him as he makes his way through life.

He insists that the first person on his mind after finding the net is the almighty himself, who has given him "the power to score."

Benteke also illustrated his moral nature by saying he always prays before the game for the health of all 22 players on the pitch, asking for everyone to be safe during the 90 minutes of action.

He said: "I do the celebration because I believe in God. So when I score the first thing I have to do is say thank-you to him. He has given me the power to score.

"I am a very religious person. I pray before the game and I pray after the game too. This is my education from my family.

"I thank him for the good things that he has given me. Before each match I pray to him to make sure that nothing bad happens to all 22 players on the pitch. That is important.

"I ask for him to look after everyone. Before we are footballers, we are men, we are people together.

"We have a good job. Other people wake up at 6am in the morning and go back home at 6pm in the evening. They work really, really hard. We have to enjoy what we do and give thanks for that."

Benteke admits too that he loves fans who tweet him pictures of themselves doing his goal celebration.

He continued: "I see fans doing the celebrations on Twitter. They send me messages showing themselves in photos. It makes me laugh and makes me smile.

"I really like it. It's good that everyone enjoys it. It's really great."

Benteke, of course, has opted for the No.20 shirt again this season.

Benteke had a standout campaign in claret and blue last time out, hitting 19 in the top-flight and 23 in all competitions.

When the squad numbers were assigned ahead of this coming term, Benteke asked for No.20 again, rather than change to the seemingly more prestigious jerseys of No.9 or No.10.

The powerful forward had no hesitation in staying put and admitted superstition played a part.

He said: "When I came to Villa, I took the No.20 - and now I don't want to change. Why would I?

"I had a really good season. I was really happy with the season and the number. There's no reason to change.

"It's a bit of a superstition I suppose. People may have thought No.9 or No.10 but not for me, I am really happy with No.20."

Benteke admits he's hungry for goals again this term but stressed that he's just as pleased to set up chances for his playing pals too.

He added: "If I score, I am very happy. But I am really happy if I set up others to score. It doesn't matter really as long as the team score - that's all that really matters.

"I am the striker and I would be lying if I said I don't care about scoring but if someone else scores and we win, I am very, very happy.

"In terms of scoring aims, I don't want to put pressure on myself. I just want to do aswell as I can.

"But, of course, I want to score as many goals as is possible."

Pick up a Benteke No.20 shirt.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 11th August 2013