The superstitions of football players, managers and fans around the world

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If you’re after some luck to help you win the BIG prizes on the Winning Reel, check out these superstitious rituals of football players, managers and fans around the world.  

France  

During the 1998 World Cup, Laurent Blanc would kiss the shaved head of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez before kick-off.

That year, France won the World Cup.  

Blanc kept up the tradition at Euro 2000, which France won again. 

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At the 2018 World Cup, the French squad replaced kissing Barthez’s head with stroking player Adil Rami’s moustache and beard before every game.

That year, France won the World Cup once again.  

England 

Is it coming home? It might do, if the squad remember their good luck rituals!  

Let’s hope Jack Grealish remembers NOT to pull his socks up.

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Fingers crossed Luke Shaw is wearing his lucky socks that are personalised with pictures of his son’s face.

To have all the luck we can get, let’s pray that Harry Kane doesn’t shave his beard.   

Argentina  

The situation in the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals was desperate.

So was Argentine goalie Sergio Goycochea.

In need of the loo but not allowed to leave the pitch, the goalie urinated on the pitch before the penalty shootouts.

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Argentina won.

When it went to penalties again in the semi-finals, Goycochea took one for the team… literally.

From then on, he would urinate on the pitch before every shootout.   

The Netherlands  

Goycochea wasn’t the only player whose luck came from befouling the pitch.

Dutch player Johan Cruyff’s good luck rituals involved slapping his teammate Gert Bals in the stomach before kick-off, and then spitting his chewing gum onto the opposition’s half.  

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Want to know what happened the day he forgot to spit out his gum?

Ajax lost the 1969 European Cup final against AC Milan. 

Spain  

At least Cruyff’s traditions were minty fresh, unlike the pungent habits of Deportivo de La Coruña supporters.

These football fans throw garlic onto the pitch for good luck and to ward off evil spirits.

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It’s believed that this ritual helped to secure the team their three Spanish Super Cups, two Copa Del Reys and one La Liga victories.  

Italy  

In football, no man is left behind. Unless you’re former manager Gianluca Vialli – then it’s a good luck tradition!

Just before Italy’s first Euro 2020 win, the team bus accidentally drove off without Vialli.

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After that, it became a good luck tradition for the bus to start driving off without Vialli and then stop to let him on.   

Wales 

Chris Coleman was another manager with superstitious rituals.

The former Welsh manager refused to take his jacket off during games after his team lost 6-1 to Serbia in September 2012.

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The manager had taken his jacket off during the game and thought that this might have played a part in the team’s defeat.

He might have struggled to keep this tradition up in the World Cup this year, given that Qatar’s average temperature is 29 degrees.  

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