Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
As the start of the 2010 World Cup comes closer with each passing day, football players and even their fans are starting an unusual range of superstitions to ensure their team wins.
caption="What are your superstitions?"]
A string of rituals – ranging from the weird to the extreme – are all commonplace for players on nearly every continent.
English team member, John Terry, is rumoured to have nearly 50 different superstitions during his pre-match ritual.
Terry has admitted that he listens to the same CD before every game, sits in the same seat on the team bus and wraps tape around his socks three times.
The former English captain is also known to have a lucky pair of shin pads that he uses during matches.
Italian footballer, Gennaro Gattuso, admitted that during the 2006 World Cup, he wore the same sweater throughout the competition.
“Everyday I wore the same sweater than I’d worn the first day of the competition,” Gattuso told FIFA.com.
“I was sweating buckets and in a terrible mood because I couldn’t bring myself to take it off.”
Gattuso, who said he was obsessed by superstitions, also told FIFA.com that he would make it a pre-game ritual to pack all his bags before each game.
Many other players also have a rather unhygienic superstition of wearing the same underwear during every game.
Other rituals include wearing bandages in certain spots, not shooting practice goals and even urinating on the football pitch.
While players have their own superstitions, many fans who watch the games also have their own.
Whether it’s a lucky rabbit foot, a pint of beer for each goal or special shirt, we want to know what your World Cup superstition is.
Do you have anything you need to do before each game? What is your ritual?
Please leave your comments below and be sure to include where you’re writing from.
Known as a maverick of the football world, David Ginola has had a long and colorful career on the international stage and is in a unique position to tell us what to expect from the 2010 World Cup.
caption="David Ginola is your Connector of the Day."]
Ginola was born in 1967 and first started playing football at the club level in 1985 with Toulon.
After a few short stints at clubs in Paris and Brest, Ginola was selected to play for the French national team during the qualifying matches for the 1994 World Cup.
During their final qualifying game against Bulgaria, France only needed a draw to qualify for the tournament.
With the match tied at one, Ginola was forcing the ball towards the Bulgarian goal, when his sudden kick hit the ball towards the opposing team.
The kick allowed the Bulgarian defence to break free and eventually resulted in a surprise goal which knocked France out of competition.
The French manager blamed Ginola for the failure and he was quickly ostracized as the ‘assassin of French football.’
In 1995, Ginola moved to England and signed with Newcastle United. After two years, Ginola went on to play for teams including Everton and Aston Villa.
As the French national team prepare to play in the second opening game of the 2010 World Cup, Ginola is ready to offer a unique insight into what to expect from the French side.