From animals on the field to clothing selections and video game covers, superstitions in sports have a deep-rooted history. In the global sport of soccer, superstitions are abound. Here are 9 soccer superstitions that players in three of our most popular destinations swear by.

England

  • One of the most famous superstitions belongs to former Arsenal player, Kolo Toure. He insisted on being the last player to enter the field. This seemingly-simple request became an issue during a UEFA Champions League match when a teammate received injury treatment during half-time. Toure refused to return to the field until his teammate finished his treatment!
  • Former English player, John Terry, has admitted to a lot of superstitions. For example, before each match, he listened to the exact same CD in his car and parked in the same space at the stadium.
  • Former Liverpool player Pepe Reina had a habit of filling his fuel tank in his car at the same gas station before every match, even if he didn’t need it. He also parked in the same space at the stadium.
  • Afraid to “waste a goal,” England striker Gary Lineker would not take practice shots on goal during warm-ups. He would also change his shirt at half-time if he had not scored a goal in the first half of a match.

Spain

  • Former Spanish coach Luis Aragonés had an issue with the color yellow. He once pushed one of his players to change his outfit when he arrived at a team hotel wearing a yellow shirt.
  • FC Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić would put his sock and shoe on his left foot first, but would step onto the field with his right foot first.
  • After scoring a goal, Valencia’s Álvaro Negredo always wears the same shirt in the following match. (Gross!) He also makes a point of being last out of the tunnel before a match.

Italy

  • Former Italian national team coach Giovanni Trapattoni used to take holy water with him to his matches. He got it from his sister who happened to be a nun.
  • Romeo Anconetani, president of Italia club Pisa, believed that throwing salt on the pitch before a game would bring good luck. He thought the bigger the game, the more salt needed. He once tossed 25kg of salt onto the field ahead of a particularly important game!

Learn more about our soccer programs with WorldStrides Excel Programs.