Quite a few footballers or athletes for that matter have a pre-game ritual or superstition. Some say it has a religious or a spiritual reason while others say it gives them a mental advantage ahead of an important match.
Many of the players tend to wear their right foot gear first as they hope it will bring them good luck. But, there are players that tend to do some unusual and bizarre pre-game rituals.
Here are the top 10 pre-game rituals of famous footballers.
#1 Cesc Fabregas kisses a ring given to him by his wife four time
The current Chelsea and Spain midfielder has a weird habit of kissing a ring, given by his wife, 4 times before he gets onto the pitch.
He mentions he isn’t superstitious at all but he feels this habit brings him good luck.
“I’m not superstitious at all but there is one thing that I started doing four years ago – it went well and I didn’t stop doing it.
“I kiss this ring that my wife gave me four times – my lucky number – and then I leave it in my locker and I go out.”
Cesc also believes kissing his ring 4 times because 4 is his lucky number as he had that number on his shirt throughout his whole career.
#2 Wayne Rooney eats Coco Pops before every match
Rather than eating the traditional pre-game meal of chicken or steak, Wayne Rooney prefers eating a bowl of cereals. His favourite is the Coco Pops and he is very particular about it.
"I tend to just have cereal before a game, probably a bowl of Coco Pops. The normal ones, not the Moons and Stars,"
The England and Manchester United top scorer, currently playing at Everton, insists that he isn't superstitious at all and doesn't have any other pre-game ritual.
#3 Neymar has a chat and a prayer with his father over the phone before every game
Neymar is arguably the most talented and gifted player of his generation. He always has a little pep talk and a prayer with his dad before every game. Neymar is said to be a very religious person and therefore believes this habit brings him good luck.
He also has a close relationship with his fans and therefore posts a picture of himself on his social media before the game.
#4 John Terry and his various pre-game rituals
John Terry has a series of pre-game rituals. The former Chelsea captain used to sit on the same seat in the bus every time. He and his former Chelsea teammates admit using the same urinals. Even now he listens to the same Usher music to the ground.
“I am very superstitious and, for me, if we win a game then I add it onto my next superstition,”
John Terry used the same shin pads for the last 10 years before he lost them. He also used to tape his socks exactly 3 times.
#5 Thibaut Courtois and his treacherous pre-game routine
Thibaut Courtois had a series of weird and unusual pre-game superstitions. In his own words, first, he enters the stadium corridors at a particular time. Then, he texts his girlfriend that he is changing his clothes and not to message him until the game gets over. Then he goes to the bathroom, clicks a selfie of him sitting on the potty and sends it to 4 of his friends in Belgium. Then he wears his left shoe and sock first as he is left-handed.
Wait, it doesn't end here before going on the field he wets the tip of his gloves. And when reaching the goal he hits the goal post with his boot and punches the middle of the goal net. He says after doing all this he enters a trance and then can't be distracted.
#6 Paul Gascoigne and his weird habit
Paul Gascoigne more affectionately known as “Gazza”, is a former English international. He was an integral part of the England team that reached the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup.
The Geordie recently made a bizarre claim that he used to touch Les Ferdinand’s Penis before every international game.
“He made mine look small, I went ‘Les, Les please, please let me have one f***ing hold of that thing’.
“So he let me have a hold of it. And I went out played a blinder and scored, right. I thought ‘f***ing brilliant’.”
The first time when Gascoigne reportedly touched Les Ferdinand’s genitals, he had a wonderful game and since then having a firm hold of Ferdinand’s “Private Parts” became his pre-game ritual.
“Every time we played for England, Les went ‘hurry up and get it over with Gazza'.
However, Les Ferdinand has rubbished the Gascoigne’s claim. But if it's true….this would be the weirdest pre-game ritual of all.
#7 Gary Linekar saves his best for the game
Gary Lineker never kicked a ball towards the goal while warming up as he felt to save his best for the game. The ex English Frontman thought if he scored a goal in his pre-game warm-up then he would waste one of his goals in the match.
The now BBC presenter ended up just one goal behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goal scoring record for the Three Lions. Maybe he would have scored one during his warm up once, Just saying…
#8 Leighton Baines and his Shoelaces
The Everton and English left-back has a very unusual and time-wasting pre-game ritual before every game. The 32-year-old, before every game, unties and ties his shoelaces which he had tied in the dressing room.
He admits there isn’t any particular reason for it. The Englishman sometimes questions himself as to why he does it!
#9 Luis Suarez and his soft side
One of the most feared strikers both with his feet and his teeth has a very cute ritual before every match. Luis Suarez before every game kisses the tattoo on his wrist which has the names of his children written on it.
He also admits kissing the tattoo in his goal celebration. Suarez is known to be a loving family guy and he doesn’t shy away from displaying the love and affection towards his loved ones.
#10 George Best and his dark temptations
George Best rather had a very unhealthy yet an equally enjoyable pre-game ritual. He used to eat a whole chocolate bar before every game. He said that eating chocolate before every game used to give him positivity and energy.
The Irishman was known for a very extravagant lifestyle which included having multiple affairs and alcoholism which sadly took a toll on his life.