Football's Strange Superstitions

March 04, 2016

We stumbled across an article recently regarding Brazilian footballer Eder Loko who is notorious for peeing his pants (and apparently killing snakes) before each match for luck, something he has been doing for eight years… Yes, we’re serious.

Superstitions aren’t uncommon. I know plenty of people with quirky little habits that they insist bring them some sort of luck, or perhaps more importantly prevent bad things from happening. However the lengths a player will go to ensure victory know no bounds. Regardless of how strange, unnecessary, silly, or disturbing they may seem, many players religiously adhere to specific habits or pre-match rituals to bring them luck and combat their superstitions… like soiling themselves.

These are a few of our favorites:

Cristiano Ronaldo

I’d imagine that Ronaldo takes a long time to get ready match day or not, so it should come as no surprise that his pregame ritual involves him getting pretty. Before making his way to the stadium, Cristiano Ronaldo always pays a visit to his barber. Ronaldo claims that not getting his haircut could jinx his scoring streak. Maybe, maybe not. All we know is that if being the best in the world requires looking your best, then perhaps he is onto something.

Adrian Mutu

Adrian Mutu played for Romania for well over a decade during which time he is rumored to have always worn the same pair of underpants. No word on whether the luck could be washed out, but for his teammates sake let’s hope doing laundry was also part of his pregame routine.

Laurent Blanc

French midfielder took his superstitions straight to the world stage where he became infamous for affectionately kissing the shiny bald head of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez during the 1998 World Cup. Not sure if it was the bald head of Barthez, or the magical saliva of Blanc that did the trick, but apparently the pair knew something we did not as France would go on to win the tournament.

Kolo Toure

Taking the saying “last but not least” a little too literally, Kolo Toure’s superstitious need to be the last player out of the locker room got him into trouble during his time with Arsenal. Toure was once issued a yellow after returning 30 seconds after the half during a Champions League match, because he refused to leave before his teammate who was receiving halftime medical aid left the locker room.

Gary Lineker

During his football days, Gary Lineker refused to take a shot near anywhere near the goal for fear of wasting the good one during warmups. His suspicions were rewarded finishing his career as one of England’s most proficient striker Lineker.

Bobby Moore

If you were to stumble upon England’s dressing room during the time of Bobby Moore you’d be likely to catch him with his pants down… literally. Moore insisted to be the last to pull on his sorts before the match, even going as far as to take his off again if somehow overlooked a teammate who had not yet suited up. Maybe if someone carried on Moore's pantless legacy England might have a shot at another World Cup.

Sergio Goycochea

Apparently Eder Loko isn’t the only one in habit of taking a lucky wiz. Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea first wet his shorts before a penalty kick in a 1990 World Cup match vs Yugoslavia. Goycochea was able to save the kick, so naturally when faced with a penalty shootout later in the tournament decided to try it again. It worked and there was no turning back. There are very few people who can get away with publicly peeing their pants. Not sure if we should be disturbed or impressed. Maybe a bit of both.

Do you have a strange pre-match ritual, superstition, or luck charm? Share it with us in the comments below.

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