Ronaldo's celebration flex, Balotelli asks 'why always me?', Ramos drops the Copa: The funniest thing I have seen

Over the years, our writers have been present for some of the game's greatest occasions. In the latest installment of a multi-part series, they tell the story of the funniest moments they have seen, including an over-the-top goal celebration from Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Balotelli's "Why always me?" shirt and Sergio Ramos dropping the Copa del Rey trophy.

Gab Marcotti's pick: Ronaldo's UCL final goal celebration

The match: Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid (2014)
The place: Lisbon, Portugal

We were way deep in injury time and the game was over. Real Madrid were 3-1 up and seconds away from winning "La Decima" -- their 10th European Cup. Nerves were frayed and bodies exhausted after an epic comeback. Atletico Madrid had taken the lead only for Real Madrid to grab a last-ditch equaliser thanks to Sergio Ramos after laying siege to the opposition goal for much of the match.

Ramos' strike deflated Atletico, mentally and morally. In the second period of extra time, Gareth Bale gave Madrid the lead and, with two minutes to go, Marcelo added the insurance goal to make it 3-1. The game was over. History was going to be made.

Except there were 120 seconds to go. Enough for Cristiano Ronaldo to skip into the box and win a penalty after a little kick out from Gabi. Up stepped Madrid's No. 7 for the ultimate garbage-time goal and you knew he wasn't going to miss: ball one way, Thibaut Courtois the other.

So far, so normal, but it was Ronaldo's celebration that stood out. Off he sprinted toward the corner, shirt off, pecs bulging, guns out, massive solo flex, hands on hips. It was absurdly over the top given the circumstances and somewhat remarkable given how his team had celebrated wildly twice in the previous 10 minutes.

Ronaldo was criticised, with some even suggesting his pose was specifically for cameras hidden in the crowd that were filming a biographical documentary: Ronaldo: The Movie.

But I don't buy it. I like to imagine Ronaldo celebrates that way in training. Or when he's in his backyard with his kids. Maybe even in the privacy of his own bathroom, staring in the mirror.

He may not have been critical to Real Madrid's success that night, but he was critical to them being there. He had appeared in 11 Champions' League games and scored in 10 of them, amassing a total of 17 goals.

This was his moment as much as it was anybody else's. This wasn't an egomaniac stealing the limelight. Or, rather, maybe he is a prima donna and an egomaniac, but he's no thief of limelights: he's a creator of them. I thought it was hilarious because even as some tut-tutted away, Ronaldo was enjoying every minute. And, clearly, did not care.

Was it lack of self-awareness? Or was it the ultimate self-awareness and not caring in the slightest what others think? Who knows? Who cares? It was deliciously funny, especially knowing the reaction it would generate.

- Stream ESPN FC TV, 30 for 30 soccer stories and live games on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
- I was there: Zlatan arrives | Zidane sees red | Donovan's heroics | Ronaldo's overhead | Messi is No. 1 | Liverpool stun Barcelona | Brilliant Barca | Brazil humiliated

Mark Ogden's pick: Balotelli asks, 'Why always me?'

The match: Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City (2011)
place: Manchester, England

Equally talented and frustrating, Mario Balotelli remains an enigma even today, but his "Why always me?" T-shirt, which he unveiled after scoring in Manchester City's 6-1 win at Manchester United was a classic moment. To make the story even better, Balotelli barely slept the night before a derby that City won emphatically on the way to a Premier League title. The reason? He was setting off fireworks in his bathroom, which led to him calling the fire service.

Sid Lowe's pick: Ramos drops the Copa

The match: Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona (2011)
The place: Valencia, Spain

Have a stroll around the Spanish FA museum and in one corner you will come to the Copa del Rey, crumpled and crushed after Sergio Ramos dropped it under a bus as Real Madrid celebrated victory against Barcelona. Somehow, though, the trophy is better as a result. Also worth a mention: Gus Poyet's assistant at Real Betis was named after QPR's 1973 promotion-winning team: Anthony Philip David Terry Frank Donald Stanley Gerry Gordon Stephen James Oatway. "Yeah, and they call him Charlie," Poyet said with a smile on his face.

Julien Laurens' pick: May's mishap

The match: France 3-2 England (2017)
The place: Paris

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May made me laugh when she attended a friendly between France and England in Paris, which the hosts won narrowly, five days after her Conservative party lost its overall parliamentary majority in a general election. To add insult to injury, May tried to take part in a crowd "wave," but completely mistimed when she was meant to join.

Jeff Carlisle's pick: Beckham takes on the Quakes ... and their mascot

The match: San Jose 4-3 LA Galaxy (2012)
The place: San Jose, California

At the end of a feisty game, during which David Beckham was booked for firing a ball from 25 yards at an on-the-ground Sam Cronin, the former England captain looked as if he wanted to take on the entire San Jose team. In stepped Quakes' mascot "Q," who held up a sign saying, "SportsCenter is next" and then got in front of Beckham. To be fair, the LA Galaxy superstar was probably jawing with Quakes players and not the costumed figure, but the optics made it look as if he were taking on the mascot, making for a hilarious scene.

Nick Miller's pick: Mourinho plays the victim

The match: Inter 0-0 Sampdoria (2010)
The place: Milan, Italy

It is hard to pinpoint the exact moment when Jose Mourinho fully became a pantomime figure. It was probably after his time at Inter, but even during their 2009-10 treble-winning season he laid it on thick. In one game against Sampdoria, his side had two players sent off and Mourinho reacted as you might imagine, before marching up and down the touchline with his hands crossed, as if they were tied together. The symbolism was not subtle and, for that reason, it was impossible not to find the whole scene incredibly funny.

Rob Dawson: Balotelli asks, 'Why always me?'

The match: Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City (2011)
The place: Manchester, England

The build-up to the Manchester derby was all about Mario Balotelli anyway after the fire brigade were called to his house the night before, but he made more headlines on the pitch by not only scoring twice in a 6-1 win, but also revealing his famous T-shirt. It was a funny moment on a dramatic day, even if it has just come to be known as normal behaviour by Balotelli, among whose other moments of notoriety was a training ground fight with his City manager Roberto Mancini.

Graham Hunter's pick: West sees red

The match: Lazio 0-3 Inter (1998)
The place: Paris

The day before Inter and Lazio meet in the 1998 UEFA Cup final, I somehow get into Inter's hotel in Versailles for a long coffee and interview with Taribo West. He warns me "it's going to be war" the next day, talking about "hating Lazio" and "taking opposition players out." Game night comes and the Nigerian defender is angelic until, with his side 3-0 up with eight minutes left, he smashes through Pierluigi Casiraghi and is sent off. As he troops off, West looks up to the press tribune and just nods, as if in confirmation: "Told you!"

Tor-Kristian Karlsen's pick: Scouting snafu

While scouting in Eastern Europe many years ago, the forward I was there to watch scored four goals courtesy of some absolutely dreadful defending -- think centre-backs bumping into each other or slipping -- and generous assists from better-placed teammates. Even more funny was that he missed a handful of great chances too. It became apparent that somebody knew that I was coming!

Tim Vickery's pick: Missed penalty leads to a nervous phone call

Andy Gray was a midfielder who did very well at Crystal Palace in the mid-1980s, but was not a good fit at Tottenham, where he stood out most for his long throw-ins. Once, at a sparsely attended Spurs reserve game, he blasted a penalty high over the bar, to which I shouted that he should have picked the ball up and thrown it. My shameful quest for a quick laugh ate away at my conscience and then, more than 20 years later, the phone rang and it was Gray. My first thought was: He has found me at last!