That Italians are a superstitious people is well known. Each of us has his own superstitious gestures and lucky rites that we practices before an exam, a job interview or a football match. And in this regard, did you know that even Italian football players are very superstitious? Experience and skill are not enough, even the best ones need the blindfolded goddess to be on their side. We tell you how professional coaches and players call for luck on the pitch.
There are those who entrust the fate of a game to the hands of the gods. Giovanni Trapattoni was caught by the cameras, in a match during the World Cup in Korea, while he was pouring holy water under the bench. Yes, you read that correctly! He carried a little bottle of holy water with him. And when the game after a goal immediately took a bad turn, here is that the Trap opened the bottle hidden in the pocket of the jacket and invoked the providence. But unfortunately, it didn’t have the desired effect. His colleague Antonio Conte was framed while he was rubbing his rosary during the match. Among the religious we also include Marco Tardelli who, in the 1982 final against Germany, took the field with the image of a saint hidden in the shin guards. And talking about holy cards, in the stadium of Naples the tunnel that leads to the camp is covered with images of saints.
Routine-blinded football players, coaches and presidents
Zambrotta once said that his superstitious ritual was to wear first the right shoe and then the left one. A former Fiorentina coach, Bruno Pesaola, always listened to the same record before each game. In addition to help him relaxing, he believed it was a good omen. Once he forgot it at home and, it is said, he went back 500 kilometers to get it. Romeo Anconetani, former president of Pisa Calcio, had another strange custom that he put into practice before the decisive matches. He used to sprinkle salt on the field. And it is said that once he overturned 26 kilos. A little too much ?!
Gennaro Gattuso, Milan’s former footballer and coach, is famous for his determination and ability to energize and charge his teammates. During the 2006 World Cup, which saw him raise the most prestigious cup in the world, he drew a very special ritual that, given the results, led well. In fact, before each game, he carved out moments of privacy during which, sitting in the bathroom on the toilet bowl, he read some pages of Dostoevsky. Pippo Inzaghi, instead, goes to the bathroom three times in ten minutes. And before each game he ate a pack of Plasmon. Not whole, however, two always left them. I wonder why! And they could not miss the opponents of the number 17. Cellino, when he was president of Cagliari, had the number 17 removed from the gallery, establishing the 16bis.
Football players and coaches obsessed with clothing
Then there are players who pay a lot of attention to what to wear and also how to wear it. Gigi Riva played exclusively with the number 11. He refused any other T-shirt, convinced that this number brought him well. And he was right. The only time he could not wear it, during the Italy-Portugal match way back in 1967, he broke his leg. Daniele De Rossi, after a fight with an opponent, who tore off his sleeve, decided to play with a long and a short sleeve.
Galliani always wore the same yellow tie. While Costantino Rozzi never separated from his lucky charms: the red socks. In his honor the players of Ascoli wore them during the game after his death. Walter Mazzarri used to take off his jacket at the beginning of the game and he remained on the sideline only with his shirt, challenging the cold and the bad weather. On the contrary, Renzo Ulivieri never took off his coat. Once he even wore it with 35 ° C.