Top 10: Superstitions

Football expert James Horncastle investigates lucky charms - but you can forget black cats, horseshoes and four-leaf clovers...

Romeo Anconetani and lots of salt

Plato described salt as being especially dear to the gods, so it'™s perhaps unsurprising that football fans, who are really just Greek philosophy lovers in disguise, often season the pitch in the hope of tasting some good fortune.

Except, that is, in South America -“ where salt remains the condiment of choice for invoking the evil spirits of defeat.

Given that Italians routinely do the opposite to anyone else and excessively so, often betting against their own team out of superstition, Romeo Anconetani, the legendary former president of Pisa, rarely took his pre-match rituals with a pinch of salt.

In fact, before a delicate match against Cesena, he once covered the pitch at the Arena Garibaldi with 26kg of the stuff.   

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