Sunday, October 16, 2011

Top 10 Football Superstitions

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10) Gary Lineker
The jug-eared former penalty box predator and BBC TV's face of the World Cup never, ever struck a ball towards goal during the pre-match warm-up, fearing it would 'use up all his good shots'.

9) John Terry
The Chelsea captain has revealed that he has “about 50” superstitions, which include listening to the same Usher CD, using the same urinal at Stamford Bridge and taking the same seat on the Chelsea team bus. He also claims to have used the same shinpads throughout his career before he misplaced them after a Champions League tie with Barcelona in 2005. "Those shin-pads had got me to where I was in the game,” Terry revealed.

8) Roy Hodgson
Baggies boss Hodgson claims that during a winning run he would wear the same clothes, right down to his socks and underpants. Woy's stint at Liverpool turned out to be one of the most expensive of his career as he was forced to get a new suit for virtually every game.

7) David James
As befits a goalkeeper, England's current No.1 has a couple of odd pre-match 'must dos'. Bristol City's resident artist and philosopher has admitted to not speaking to anyone before kick-off. as well as waiting for the urinals to empty of players before he enters and spits on the wall. Classy.

6) Bobby Moore
England's 1966 World Cup winning skipper would never put his shorts on until the rest of the team had done so. His fellow West Ham and Three Lions colleague Martin Peters caught onto Moore's unique superstition and would wait for him to put on his shorts... before then dropping his own. Moore responded by removing his shorts once again and waiting patiently for Peters to pull his up. Footballers, eh? Such larks...

5) Malvin Kamara
Former Huddersfield striker Kamara recently conceded that in an attempt to maintain his goalscoring form, he would watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to “get him in the right mood.” After netting a less than impressive three goals in 45 appearances, the player was released and now plays his football for non-league AFC Guiseley. Maybe give James and the Giant Peach a try Malvin?

4) Romeo Anconetani
Former Pisa president Romeo Anconetani, renowned for his eccentric ways, had an unusual pre-match superstition. Before every one of his side’s games the Italian would throw salt onto the pitch. And the bigger the game, the more salt he would throw. In one particularly important match against local rivals Cesena, Anconetani distributed a staggering 26kg of salt on the pitch. Maybe the Wembley groundsman should try it?

3) Neil Warnock
During a winning run, the QPR gaffer will stop his car at every set of traffic lights on his way home. Even if they are green. You'd be thrilled if you were following him home, wouldn't you?

2) Sergio Goycochea
Former Argentinian goalkeeper Goycochea will be best remembered for how he dealt with the dreaded penalty shoot-out. The South American stopper would urinate on the pitch to calm himself before the commencement of the spot-kicks. He said: “If you have any natural urges, you have to go on the field. I was very subtle and nobody complained.”

1) Carlos Bilardo - The Nuttest!
If you thought Argentina legend Diego Maradona was bonkers, then how about this from one of his predecessors as coach of the national team. Bilardo guided the Albiceleste to World Cup glory in 1986 in remarkable fashion. He banned his players from eating chicken, believing it brought bad luck, carried a statue of the Virgin Mary to every match and insisted that newlywed brides were the key to success. And they were among the more normal of his superstitions...

During the group stages in Mexico, the Argentinian bus broke down on their way to a match - resulting in the team having to take taxis to the game. The Argentinians duly won, resulting in Bilardo making a direct correlation between the mode of transport and the victory. And that meant the team continued to flag down taxis before each game for the rest of the tournament.

But Bilardo's bonkers beliefs didn't end when he left international management. During his time as coach of Estudiantes La Plata in 2003, a Brazilian woman wished him good luck ahead of a crucial game. After winning the match 4-1, Bilardo then instructed club officials to track down the woman before each game, and he would call her in order to secure any luck that might be going spare.

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