Everyone knows that footballers can be more than a little superstitious when it comes to the world’s favourite game – but some of these traditions can seem a little strange, and even downright weird.
But then again, it’s important to remember that these are all professional athletes achieving a great deal of success at their chosen sport, so perhaps their special rituals might indeed hold something powerful?
Either way, here are some football superstitions which are certainly memorable enough to be mentioned.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
We all remember this classic film about Charlie Bucket discovering a wacky and enchanted chocolate factory, led by the eccentric and rather peculiar Willy Wonka. However, it may not feel like it has anything to do with football.
Malvin Kamara would disagree. Playing for Sierra Leone, he aims to achieve a very specific mindset before beginning each game. And what gets him into the right mood? You guessed, a film featuring Oompa-Loompas and weird candy confections.
Despite watching the film so much, his goal scoring record leaves a lot to be desired, with only 15 goals in 200 matches. Perhaps what he really needs is a golden ticket?
Despite football’s reputation for being high in testosterone, there’s a surprising amount of affection flying around – especially when the stakes are high, and players think there’s something lucky about being a little more ‘touchy feely’.
A famous example is Laurent Blanc during the 1998 World Cup. The French player started a tradition of kissing the team’s goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez, on his bald head before every single match.
It might sound a little wacky – but it seems to have paid off, as France won the World Cup that year. Perhaps all we need is a little more love?
Practice makes unlucky
Gary Lineker had an interesting superstition of his own while warming up for games. He refused to kick the ball towards the goal, believing that it’d take away from the number of good shots he’d be able to use within the actual game.
But once again, it seems like his strategy might have paid off as he became one of the world’s most legendary players during his impressive career.
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