Many people have superstitions to bring them good luck and footballers are no different.
However, very few of these good luck superstitions seem to make any sense.
Some players will go to extreme lengths in their pursuit of three points, a goal, or a clean sheet, using some peculiar pre-match traditions in the belief that it will give them an advantage on the pitch.
Top footballers weirdest pre-game rituals include putting on the left sock before the right one or doing some routine things like sitting on the same chair.
They might refuse to walk underneath a ladder because they believe it will bring them good luck or will shield them from unfortunate outcomes.
If you think something as simple as keeping the same seat on the team bus will cut it, wait until you read the length some players will go to ensure a trophy.
He believes in superstitions and has some weird pre-game rituals.
During the 2012 European Championships, Ronaldo repeated some of his best known rituals.
Ronaldo is the only Portugal player, apart from keeper Rui Patricio, who always plays in a long-sleeved shirt.
Before the start of every game, he always combs his hair in a different way and changes it at half time on many occasions.
He always steps onto the field with his right foot first and likes to be the last player to do so, but now he is Portugal captain, he has to enter first.
He removes the captain’s armband as soon as the game ends.
He doesn’t choose the music for the changing room anymore.
On the Portugal team bus, he sits at the back and is always one of the last to get off. However, when travelling by plane, he always sits in the first row with Pepe and is one of the first to get off.
As an example of pre-game rituals, Klopp refused to touch the ‘This is Anfield’ sign at Liverpool’s stadium prior to winning a major trophy.
German boss also refused to watch his own team taken penalties.
Klopp also didn’t watch penalties during his time as Borussia Dortmund’s
Zlatan’s ritual might not be among the weird rituals on the football pitch. While at Manchester United, he scored the goal to win the Community Shield and says the secret to his big game performances is he puts himself on a sex ban before all major games.
The Swedish striker imposed a pre-game sex ban on his wife Helena Seger after he had a miserable time on the pitch following a special evening with his wife the day before.
Once he said, “There are quite a few players who say that they have a lot of sex to achieve better performances.
“I’ve tried that, but for me anger is the best driving force, I notice it again and again … If I’m angry at something or someone, then I’m really good.”
Cesc has a pre-game ritual that involves his wife, Daniella Semaan… and it’s not what you think.
The midfield maestro likes to kiss a ring his wife gave him four times (his lucky number) before removing the item, putting it in the locker for safe-keeping and stepping out on the pitch.
He mentioned that he isn’t superstitious at all but he feels this habit brings him good luck.
The Welsh wizard has a number of superstitions to avoid injury. Some believe that he might need a few more.
Bale loves to cut holes in his socks before stepping out into the Bernabeu because he believes it avoids compression on his calf muscles.
While at Chelsea, the former Aston Villa assistant manager revealed he has about 50 superstitions, including sitting in the same place on the team bus, listening to the same Usher album and parking in the same spot in the car park.
Terry even had a lucky pair of shin-pads he wore for ten seasons.
“I am very superstitious and, for me, if we win a game then I add it onto my next superstition,”
John Terry used the same shin pads for the last 10 years before he lost them. He also used to tape his socks exactly 3 times.
One of the lasting images of France’s 1998 World Cup win is the sight of Laurent Blanc planting a kiss on the bald head of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez before each game. It clearly worked, with Les Bleus defeating Brazil 3-0 in the final.
Defender of French national football team Laurent Blanc kissed goalkeeper Fabien Barthez on the head, wishing him good luck before World Cup matches in 1998.
The hosting French team was happy about the kiss which brought them good luck. They kept on winning and moving forward as long as Blanc kissed Barthez on the head.
The French team had another superstition as well. The team was always listening to Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” in the dressing room.
When they reached the final, Blanc was not able to participate in the decisive match due to disqualification. The footballers were trying to guess, who was going to replace him in the important match. It was the most discussed topic back then, just as important as knowing the winner.
Blanc came out in ordinary sports uniform and kissed Barthez’s head before the match began. France became the winner of the World Cup for the first time.
The tradition continued, bringing luck to France in UEFA Euro 2000 as well. When Blanc finished his career, Barthez did not let anyone else to give him the desired kiss.
Among the top footballers’ weirdest pre-game rituals is being the last player onto the pitch. Former Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool defender Kolo Toure insisted on being the last player onto the pitch during his playing days.
However, this had ramifications during a Champions League game for Arsenal against Roma in 2009. <span style=”font-family:times new roman,serif”>He once missed the start of the second half of a Champions League game because he was waiting for a teammate to precede him.
Toure’s center-back partner William Gallas received treatment at half-time that delayed his return for the second half.
But Toure refused to come out before Gallas and the game resumed without either of them, leaving Arsenal down to nine men.
The Ivorian was booked for his actions. Unlike Ronaldo, Kolo Toure insisted on being the last player from his team to walk onto the playing field.
Malvin Kamara played in England for a host of clubs, including Milton Keynes Dons, Cardiff City, Port Vale, and Huddersfield Town.
Before each game, Kamara made sure he watched the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.
“I have to watch it before every game. It gets me in the right mood,” he explained.
“It’s been my favorite film since I was little – it calms my nerves and gives me luck.”