- Nasima Akter
Interesting Footballer Superstitions
Many footballers have different quirks. One of these quirks happens to be filling superstitions before matches. Not all footballers are superstitious but some have their own traditions to help boost their chances in a game. Some superstitions are more interesting than others, such as believing in the luck of the stars to kissing a teammate for extra luck. Different players do different things to make themselves feel better about a game. Here are some footballers, both from the present and past with interesting superstitions:
When you hear the name, Cristiano Ronaldo, you think of an incredible athlete and one of the greatest players of all time, having won numerous awards such as the Ballon d’Or five times. But did you know that he also has some unique superstitions that he believes make him great?
Despite his reputation for hard work, Ronaldo has developed some quirky habits over the years. For example, he always puts his right foot onto the grass first and stands in the exact same way during free-kicks. He even insists on being the first player to disembark from a plane when traveling to a game!
These superstitions may seem strange, but they have clearly worked for Ronaldo. He has won a staggering number of titles, including three Premier League titles, five Champions League titles, two La Liga titles, one Serie A title, one Euro title, and of course, five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes.
Here's a fun fact about Phil Jones, the defender for Manchester United - he has a unique superstition when it comes to his socks!
Depending on whether his team is playing at home or away, Jones will put on a specific sock first. When they're playing at home, he puts on his left sock first, but when they're playing away, he puts on his right sock first. And why does he do this? Well, it's because the fixtures list United on the left side when they're playing at home and on the right side when they're playing away.
It may sound a little strange, but these superstitions can be very important to athletes, and Jones is no exception. Who knows, maybe this little quirk has helped him in his games!
Jack Grealish, the talented footballer who played for Aston Villa, had an interesting superstition during the 2018-19 season. After scoring some impressive goals and assisting his teammates following his return from injury, Grealish started to believe that his boots had some kind of magic in them. From then on, he stuck with that particular pair of boots, refusing to change them until the club secured a place in the Premier League. It just goes to show how even the slightest belief can have a big impact on an athlete's performance.
Get this - former Chelsea player Cesc has a pre-game ritual that involves his wife, Daniella Semaan, and it's not what you might expect. Instead of a passionate kiss, the midfielder likes to kiss a ring she gave him four times - that's his lucky number! After that, he takes off the ring and puts it in the locker for safekeeping before hitting the pitch. Currently, he plays as a central midfielder for the Italian Serie B club Como.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a football superstar who takes his on-pitch performance very seriously. He even goes as far as implementing a pre-game sex ban on his wife, Helena Seger, to ensure he's at his best on the field. This was after he had a bad game following a night of intimacy. While some might find this odd, it's a strategy that works for Zlatan to stay on top of his game.
As a player, he’s famous for his impressive acrobatic strikes and volleys, strong long-range shots, and exceptional ball control and technique.
Laurent Blanc and Fabien Barthez
Let's talk about the French team that made it to the 1998 World Cup final - they had some interesting pre-game rituals that may have helped them succeed!
Of course, the team was full of amazing players like Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, and Thierry Henry. But one of their pre-match traditions was a little unusual. Defender Laurent Blanc would kiss the head of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez before each game. And as they kept winning, more and more players joined in, until the entire team was kissing Barthez's head for good luck!
But that wasn't the only superstition they had. Before every match, they would listen to Gloria Gaynor's famous song "I Will Survive" in the locker room. And even their seating arrangement on the bus was carefully planned out - each player had a specific seat!
All of these little quirks may seem silly, but they worked for the French team. After all, they made it to the World Cup final!
Raymond Domenech, a former football manager, had some strange beliefs. He was convinced that players with the Scorpio star sign were reckless troublemakers who craved attention. He even used astrology to help him pick his team! This led to him ending the career of Robert Pires. Domenech was not your average manager; he once proposed to his girlfriend on the pitch after losing a game and even had to deal with a player mutiny. But his obsession with star signs and astrology was his most bizarre habit.
John Terry, the former captain of the England football team, has some pretty quirky pre-game habits. In an interview with The Mirror, he revealed that he has around 50 superstitions that he always follows before a match.
For instance, Terry listens to the same Usher CD in his car and parks in the same spot every time. He also ties the tapes around his socks three times and cuts the tubular grip for his shin pads to the same length. He even used the same pair of lucky shin pads for a decade before losing them during an away game in Barcelona.
It makes you wonder if Terry wears his full kit, including the lucky shin pads, even when he's suspended from a match. Who knows, it might just be another one of his superstitions!
Johan Cruyff was an excellent football player and was known for the "total football" style of the Dutch team. He led them to a World Cup final and invented a hard-to-master move called the Cruyff turn. He had some odd habits too, including slapping his goalie and spitting his gum toward the opposition goal before games. He believed these actions helped him to succeed. However, during the 1969 European Cup final, he forgot to chew gum and lost 4-1. Even the best players can have off days, no matter how many rituals they have.
Here's a story about Pele, one of the greatest football players of all time, and his superstitions.
One time, Pele gave his match shirt to a fan, but after that, he had a string of bad performances. So, he asked a friend to find the shirt and bring it back to him. A week later, the friend returned with a shirt, and Pele immediately started scoring goals again!
But here's the funny part - Pele's friend actually couldn't find the original shirt. So he just gave Pele a different one instead! If he had told Pele the truth, who knows what would have happened? Maybe football history would have been changed forever!
Even the best players can have superstitions, and Pele is no exception. It just goes to show that sometimes, it's the little things that can make a big difference in sports.