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Why did Maurizio Sarri deliberately crash into one of his players’ cars before a game?

Chelsea's new Italian boss brings a lot of superstitions to London but this is one of the strangest

Managers are an odd bunch, aren’t they?

Maurizio Sarri has arrived in English football and as you may have read the Italian manager is a bit of a wildcard.

Last season his Napoli side were one of the most exciting teams in Europe, playing a brand football Roman Abramhovic has craved to see for years, but Sarri comes with a lot of baggage.


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Firebrand character

Reuters
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Firebrand character

He is notorious for his smoking habit, with Dries Mertens estimating he smokes on average five packets a day.

But it is his superstitions that really mark him out as an intense character.

Everything he does is guided by his wildly superstitious nature, from the food the players eat, to the pitch they train on that week, everything.

The rituals are held in place for winning runs and only when they come to an end is he willing to change.

Always left hand to right shoulder, never right hand to left shoulder

Getty - Contributor
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Always left hand to right shoulder, never right hand to left shoulder

But it has emerged that way back in the mid-2000s, long before Sarri had been recognised as the managerial talent we see today, he was possibly even more irrationally OCD.

According to a story in The Times, Sarri took his superstitions to new levels when in charge of amateur side Sansovino in Italy’s Serie D.

On one match day as Sarri was driving into the car park, he had a momentary lapse in concentration and ended up crashing his car into his defender Marco Fara’s BMW.

The team went on to win the game.

Butter wouldn’t melt

AFP or licensors
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Butter wouldn’t melt

So the following week Sansovino had a crunch game against top of the table Chiusi which they had to win.

Of course for Sarri, that meant all the preparations had to be exactly the same as the win from the week before.

The players stood in amazement as Sarri rolled into the car park and deliberately nudged Fara’s car again.

You know how the story goes? Sansovino went on to win 2-0.

Don’t buy nice car lads

Getty - Contributor
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Don’t buy nice car lads

And it doesn’t stop there.

The Chelsea players will have to get used to eating the same food on match day if they’re on a winning run, seeing their manager sprinkling salt on the field and taking his choice of wardrobe as a sign of whether they will win the game.

What a season it’s going to be.


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