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Very Superstitious

Footballers and their weird quirks

You don't have to be crazy to work in football... But it helps

Tying your left boot before the right? Brushing the grass on the pitch before you come on?

Footballers and coaches have certain superstitions which may appear pointless and a bit strange.

While all superstitions – by nature – are ludicrous, some players and managers have managed to take it to a new level.


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Gary Lineker

Practise doesn’t necessarily make perfect

Action Images - Reuters
8
Practise doesn’t necessarily make perfect

We are going to start things off slowly and gradually work our way towards the ridiculous habits.

Gary Lineker never took shots during the warm-up of a game as he didn’t want to waste a goal.

Mr Match of the Day won the Golden Boot in the 1986 World Cup so it’s not really be our place to judge him for his warm-up routines.

John Terry

He wees where he wants

PA:Press Association
8
He wees where he wants

Another England legend had a certain pre-match ritual which couldn’t be interfered with.

John Terry apparently only used one urinal at Stamford Bridge.

Even if it was occupied, JT would hang around until it was free.

When you gotta go, you gotta wait for the ‘special urinal.’

Pele

Hands up if you’re a fraud

Reuters
8
Hands up if you’re a fraud

Pele, arguably the player of his generation, was partial to a quirky superstition himself.

The Brazilian once gave his shirt to a fan but after hitting a bad patch of form, the forward asked his friend to collect the shirt from said fan.

Low and behold, his form returned when he got his shirt back.

Not sure if that fan was too happy about it though.

Maurizio Sarri

Sarri has more than one superstition

Getty - Contributor
8
Sarri has more than one superstition

Right, lets up the madness a bit.

Maurizio Sarri has apparently never touched a match ball in his career as he believes it is bad luck.

He must have got a touch at the Etihad, with his Chelsea side on the wrong end of a 6-0 spanking from Pep Guardiola’s Man City.

Sarri once made his team paint all their boots black for luck.

His teams have to sit in the same seats in the canteen when they are on a winning run and the Italian has to have his espressos at set times throughout the day.

France’s 1998 squad

Squad goals

AP:Associated Press
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Squad goals

Fabien Barthez was one of the heroes of France’s 1998 World Cup winning campaign for more than one reason.

He was a rock in goal for the French, but his body became something of a good luck charm in the dressing room.
As well as listening to Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ on the coach, the French players used to touch their goalkeeper for good luck.

The French Buddha was apparently kissed on the head by Laurent Blanc before every game for luck.

Midlands Portland Cement’s manager

Nice spot for a swim..

Image Source - Getty
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Nice spot for a swim..

This one certainly goes too far.

Head coach of the Zimbabwean side, Midlands Portland Cement told his 17 players to visit the crocodile infested Zabezi river for apparent good luck.

Only 16 of his players returned to training, and wouldn’t you just know it, they lost their next match.

David James

Doing his best Chris Kirkland impression

Graham Hughes - The Times
8
Doing his best Chris Kirkland impression

As bad as that is, David James takes the biscuit.

A man who goes through that many odd haircuts must have a screw lose.

The goalkeeper would not talk to anyone before a game, instead he would wait until the urinals and bathrooms were empty before spitting on the walls.

Yep, really.

Bit weird

PA:Press Association
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Bit weird

James himself had this to say on footballers with superstitions, ‘many footballers have an obsessive routine that goes way beyond normal.’

You don’t say David, you don’t say.


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