Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Names Israel Adesanya as Inspiration Behind New Goal Celebration

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Names Israel Adesanya as Inspiration Behind New Goal Celebration

Elijah Odetokun
updated at November 18, 2023 at 3:30 PM
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  • Khvicha Kvaratskhelia debuted a new celebration when Georgia beat Cyprus
  • He made a gesture drawing arrows and firing into the space ahead after scoring
  • The Napoli star has named the inspiration behind the celebration he did last month

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is a fan of mixed martial arts, and he exhibited this by taking a cue from a UFC fighter for his new goal celebration.

The Napoli star debuted a new goal celebration during the October international break in Georgia's 4-0 win over Cyprus, in which he scored the third goal.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Napoli, Hellas Verona, Italian Serie A.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia celebrates after scoring for Napoli against Hellas Verona. Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini.
Source: Getty Images

Per Football Italia, he repeated the celebration when he scored a brace in Napoli's 3-1 win over Hellas Verona a week later, with fans initially thinking he was firing Cupid after marrying that week.

Kvara names Adesanya as inspiration

The 22-year-old has cleared doubts surrounding the celebration by disclosing how it came about in a press conference during the November international break for the final two games of Euro 2024 qualifiers.

“I was watching Israel Adesanya, the UFC fighter. When he knocked out Alex Pereira, he did this celebration. That was emotional for me to watch, so I wanted to do the same when I scored,” he said via EuroFoot.

Kvaradona, as he's referred to in Naples, went on a dry spell from March last season before ending it in October, having scored 11 goals and assisted another 11 in the title-winning run.

Adesanya beat Alex Pereira in April to reclaim his UFC middleweight belt, beating the Brazilian for the first time after losing to him in November 2022.

The Nigerian-born fighter lost the belt in September in an unexpected upset against Sean Strickland via a unanimous decision after an enthralling five rounds.

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Kvaratskhelia touched by Messi's gesture

Sports Brief reported on Lionel Messi's gesture to Kvaratskhelia at the Ballon d'Or gala in France last month, which left the Georgian full of respect and praise for the Argentina captain.

Messi defied an order during a commercial break to meet the Napoli star and shook his hands, which left him confused, but he felt glad that an eight-time Ballon d'Or winner could acknowledge him.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
Israel Adesanya