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10 Soccer Superstitions From Around The World

Soccer players do the darndest things sometimes! But hey, if it works, it works! Here are some strange soccer superstitions that you should watch out for this summer. And if nothing else works, why not just send bad luck to your rival team. #enviamalasuerte

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1. Some people used to believe that an octopus could see into the future.


Paul, a psychic octopus from England, was often commissioned to predict the outcomes of soccer games. He became famous with his 85% success rate during the 2010 World Cup, but tragically died later that year. RIP Paul.

2. Some people feel the need to seek out their fortunes.

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A goalkeeper from the Spanish club, Atlético Nacional, once visited a fortune teller to try and turn his team’s luck around on the field. She instructed him to have his team wear blue belts and underwear, which supposedly helped them go on to win the Copa Libertadores.

3. A little holy water never hurt anyone.

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Giovanni Trapattoni, the former Italian national team coach, used to take holy water with him to his matches, which he was able to get from his sister who happened to be a nun at that time.

4. If you don’t change your socks, you’ll go far.


As one of the perhaps oldest rituals in the book, refusing to change or clean socks is perhaps also the most consistent superstition among the soccer world. Or maybe it’s just a ploy to throw off the other team.

5. A bald head can bring good luck.


Anyone who sees a shaved head is pretty much compelled to rub it, at least a little bit. Soccer players are no different, having rubbed the heads of bald teammates in an attempt to boost their luck for generations now.

6. A witch doctor is the 12th man we all want.

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A Senegalese goalkeeper Tony Sylva once hired a witch doctor to smear his goal posts with a magic ointment. Whether or not it actually worked, the keeper ended up going for five games straight without letting in a single goal.

7. A little salt in the game should “spice” things up.


Romeo Anconetani, the president of Italian club Pisa, believed that throwing salt on the pitch before a game would bring good luck, and that the more important the game, the more salt was necessary. In fact, he once tossed 25 kg of salt onto the field before an apparently REALLY important game.

8. Don’t set goals that you can’t achieve.


Some players hold on to the idea of “not wasting goals” during pre-match warmups. So, unsurprisingly, a lot of the big-time goal scorers will not actually take any shots on goal before the game.

9. A spiritual cleansing is EXACTLY what this team needed.

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The manager of a club in Zimbabwe thought it might be a good idea for his team to “cleanse itself of bad spirits” by bathing in the Zambezi river near Victoria Falls, which just so happened to be heavily populated with crocodiles and hippopotamuses. 16 players went in, only 15 came out.

10. No spitting allowed! Unless it’s gum.


Famous Dutch international Johan Cruyff was notorious for walking over to his opponent’s side of the pitch and spitting his gum onto their side. The one time he didn’t manage to do this (there was no gum to be found!), his team ended up losing 4-1.