Of all the sportsmen and women throughout the world, footballers are without a doubt the most superstitious of the lot. From sitting in the same seat on the team bus to wearing the same boots for the whole season, these ‘professionals’ will stop at nothing to swing fate in their favour. And while some of these superstitions are quite normal, there are also a few that make you think ‘what?’
Kolo Toure and the whole being last on the pitch thing
This is probably the most well-documented superstition of the lot, as it could have lost Arsenal a game and earned him a yellow card while he learned a new rule. We’re sure you know the tale, but we’ll retell it anyway.
In a Champions League match against Roma, Toure waited on the touchline as the second half started insisting that he would not return to the field of play until William Gallas (who was receiving extra treatment) returned. Imagine the uproar if Roma had scored with both defenders off the pitch.
John Terry’s urinal preference
Say what you will about Terry’s fall from grace of late, there’s no doubt (at least at Chelsea) that the man was a gifted player. What many don’t realise though is that his footballing talents may stem from his insistence on using a particular urinal before each match.
What kind of witchcraft is this, you may ask? We’ve no idea, but it seems to have worked out rather well for the man with four league titles, five FA Cups, and a Champions League under his belt. It didn’t stop Frank Lampard making fun of him, though.
Serhiy Rebrov’s Groundhog weirdness
Remember Rebrov of 9 goals in a season at Tottenham fame? Well, the story goes that if he had a good game during his spells at Tottenham and West Ham he had to re-enact the previous day precisely as it had happened. Talk to the same folk, eat the same stuff, watch the same daytime TV.
In fairness, though, he probably only did it once during his time in the Premier League. We know, cheap shot.
Shay Given’s holy water
Yes, you read that right. The man from Donegal has a bottle of holy water that came from Lourdes, and he takes it with him everywhere. On match days it goes in the back of the net.
It’s one of the more bizarre yet strangely comforting superstitions. Perhaps it’s because this soft-spoken Irishman is a church-going make-your-granny-proud type of guy in a world ruled by money. Then again maybe it’s just because the next one is so disgusting.
David James spitting on walls
James reckons that he could fill a page with his complex pre-game routine. He didn’t say how big a page but we’re going to go right ahead and assume it’s from an A4 pad. Anyway, while he has plenty of little things he likes to do before matches he has chosen to highlight perhaps the most disgusting one of all.
He would wait for the bathrooms to empty then go in and spit on the wall. It’s the cleaning lady we feel sorry for.
But are footballers really that strange? How many of us cross the street when we see a black cat or will never open an umbrella indoors? As far as the human race is concerned, we’re a pretty superstitious bunch. It’s not only footballers who do all they can to get fate on their side.
At least we don’t spit on walls though. Shame on you David James.