Superstitions in football have existed, by all accounts, just as long as football itself. Sportspeople tend to driven by confidence and self-motivation, so it’s not surprising, therefore, that pre-match rituals and superstitions designed to boost these attributes are commonplace within the beautiful game.
Of course, while Cristiano Ronaldo likely doesn’t need any extra motivation, that’s not to say he’s exempt from having his own finely-tuned rituals and alleged superstitions. While some footballers might include an energy drink, certain soundtrack or even a cigarette in their match-day schedule, CR7’s rituals are a little more off-piste than those. He’s been quoted in the past as stating he doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke, as he sees both as hindering his performance on the pitch. Indeed, recent years have seen many athletes turn to alternatives such as Nordic Spirit snus, a tobacco-free nicotine product that is thought to provide a temporary boost in alertness and focus.
Instead, Ronaldo has a couple of unique behavioural patterns that he’s been seen to follow. The first two relate to his entrance onto the football pitch. The Portuguese superstar is reported to always insist on being the last player to leave the tunnel, while he always steps onto the field with his right foot crossing the line first.
The above traits can be confirmed with simple observation, although there are a few other alleged rituals Ronaldo follows that are a little harder to verify. Firstly, it’s claimed that he’ll often tie his hair up at half-time, or even change his hairstyle completely, in time for the second period. It’s also reported that during his Real Madrid days, he insisted on sitting next to Pepe on all flights, while being the first to leave the aeroplane.
Outside of those, it’s also been alleged that Ronaldo must touch the ball before leaving the dressing room, while he’s also known to have a regimented training and recovery ritual – although the physical benefits in that case are much easier to identify!
Have you spotted any unusual rituals or superstitions that Cristiano Ronaldo follows that we might have missed?