Rituals, superstitions and luck all go hand in hand when it comes to playing soccer. Many soccer players have their own pre-match traditions to help them on their quest for glory. Some are pretty simple, while others are downright strange.
Let’s take a look at some superstitions of famous soccer players.
5 soccer player superstitions
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or Pelé as he’s more commonly known, went through a rough patch in the 1960s, and after trying to find the root of his problem, he concluded that it was as a result of him giving his lucky shirt to a fan. He then hired a private investigator to track down the shirt and had it returned a week later.
Almost immediately, his game started to improve. Plot twist: The investigator never found the shirt; he gave him an old shirt from a previous game.
2. John Terry
Back in the day, Terry needed to release some water before a game. Frank also needed to do so, and they ended up at the urinals at the same time.
They won that game and attributed the win to that. The following week, another player joined in and so the trend continued.
Sergio Javier Goycochea also has a bathroom-related ritual. He would pee on the pitch. It started in the 1990 World Cup Quarterfinals when he really needed to use the bathroom and couldn’t leave the field.
They won the game and went into the semi-finals, where he did it again – and it worked. So, it became a tradition that he does his thing before every shoot out.
4. Adrian Mutu
After a run-in with Romanian witches, he was told that an ex-girlfriend cursed him and that his career would suffer as a result. Luckily, he wears his underwear inside out so the curse shouldn’t affect him. Unfortunately, it did.
5. Don Revie
Revie believed in multiple superstitions, including wearing a lucky mohair suit for games and avoiding pictures of birds as it was believed to be unlucky. He also always took the same route on match days and refused to turn around if he had left anything behind.
At one point, he even had a gypsy come to remove a curse that he believed had been placed on his team to prevent them from winning.
Is It Truly Luck Or Is It Simply A Mind Game?
Many people argue that luck is something made up and that superstitions and traditions merely help boost your confidence. Call it coincidence or, well, dumb luck, but some of these players have proven just how lucky superstitions can be. So, regardless of what you’d like to call it, it works and helps to maintain a certain level of sanity within the team on match days.