THE MASKED MAN

July 3rd, 2019

Mexican striker, Oscar Fernández Peña, after scoring a goal celebrates in-style with a Lucha Libre mask. Why is he doing it? What's the meaning behind it? 

Masks have risen to become an unusual way of celebrating a goal, most notably we've seen Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doing it disguised as Batman, Spiderman and even Black Panther. But not only 'Auba' celebrates in such style, for instance, Oscar Fernández Peña has made it his very own celebration in the Kreisliga.

'It all started last year on my 30th birthday' - explains the Mexican striker. 'A couple of my teammates gave me a Lucha Libre mask as a birthday present, together with a bottle of Mexican rum. I was quite happy for the gift and told the guys, should I score a goal in the next game, I'd wear it to celebrate it.'

At the following day the Hurricanes played against TSV Sasel 4 in the final matchweek  of the Kreisklasse 2017/18. Oscar Peña came off the bench to play the last 25 minutes of the season and with only three minutes on the pitch he provoked an own-goal, while crossing the ball into the small box. Though it was not his goal, he still ran to the crowd and wore the mask. The Hurricanes won that game 0:3 and got promoted to the Kreisliga.

In the Kreisliga 208/19 season, he later on used while scoring goals against Duvenstedt, Walddörfer and SC Sternschanze IV, though against the latter one he earned a yellow card after celebrating. 'The ref was very upset and told me this was complete unsportsmanlike conduct. It was never my intention to make fun of the opponent, so for my second goal on that game I had to contain myself and not wear it', said Peña.

Celebration vs TSV Sasel IV

When asked which goal for the Hurricanes was his favorite while doing a mask celebration, he answered, 'I'd say there are two goals so far that I keep stuck in my head: against VfL 93 and SC Eilbek II.' 

'Against VfL 93 because it was on a Friday evening with a wonderful grass pitch, flood lights and a big nice crowd supporting us. We started from the very beginning with a high intensity pressing and after only 7 minutes I got to score the first goal of the match. Though it was a very scrappy goal with my shin, the ball went top corner and while hearing a big "JAAAAAA!!!" from the fans I went to them to put on the mask. They chanted very cool that "Oscar Peña Baby!" made-up song. We ended up winning the game 0:4.'

'The other one against SC Eilbek was simply beautiful. They took the lead on the first 15 minutes, but we came back strongly into the game. My teammate Oscar Walet pressed their central midfielder and stole the ball brilliantly, saw me wide open and passed it to me, I only had to take a touch on the ball to put it bottom corner and turn around the game 2:1. On that day, Aus.Tv was filming the match, so I went to the camera to celebrate it. We won that game 5:1.'

Goal vs. SC EilbekII (Aus.TV)

Celebration vs SC Eilbek II

What started perhaps as a joke between Peña and his teammates became some sort of a ritual for the latino forward. 'The Lucha Libre holds a very special significance in my country and is part of our folklore and modern culture. Some of the masks I wear belong to iconic Mexican Luchadores from the 60's (Blue Demon), from the 90's (Octagon) and even from Jack Black's Nacho Libre.' 

'Wearing the mask is more than just celebrating a goal, it's a way of saying on the pitch I'm Mexican and I belong to the Hurricanes multi-cultural family', concluded Peña.

Interview from Wolfgang "Wolle" Neubauer (Aus.TV) to Oscar Peña on the mask celebration and victory vs. SC Eilbek II

 
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