The coolest soccer tradition -- players taking off their shirts

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With Euro 2012 in full swing, we are seeing once again a soccer tradition -- players taking off their shirts after scoring a goal and winning the game. It occurs at all levels on all continents as the photos below show.

The simple nature of the soccer uniform makes ripping off one's shirt fairly easy. If NHL or NFL players tried the same, they'd be penalized for delay of game. And with goals at a premium in soccer, scoring one has more emotional impact than making a basket.

A gallery from matches in the past few weeks:

Click image for larger view

[gallery columns="2"]

Photo 1: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden looks on at the final whistle during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Sweden and England at The Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Photo 2: Tim Cahill of Australia acknowledges the fans after Australia drew with Japan during the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier match between the Australian Socceroos and Japan at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Photo 3: Steven Gerrard of England shakes hands with James Milner after the International Friendly match between Norway and England at Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Photo 4: Alan Gordon #16 of the San Jose Earthquakes (R) celebrates his 90th minute eventual game-winning goal as teammates (L-R) Steven Lenhart #24, Ike Opara #55, Steven Beitashour #33 and Jason Hernandez #21 run along and celebrate against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The Earthquakes defeated the Galaxy 3-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Photo 5: Ciro Immobile (L) and Marco Verratti (R) of Pescara Calcio celebrate after their promotion to Serie A after the Serie B match between UC Sampdoria and Pescara Calcio at Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Photo 6: Ricardo Vaz Te of West Ham celebrates his goal during the npower Championship - Playoff Final between West Ham United and Blackpool at Wembley Stadium in London. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Photo 7: Mario Gomez of Bayern Munich celebrates with fans after scoring the winning penalty during the UEFA Champions League second leg semifinal match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Photo 8: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich celebrates scoring the winning penalty during the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg between Real Madrid CF and Bayern Munich at The Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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