Wembley: Italian skipper Giorgio Chiellini claimed that he had ‘cursed’ English forward Bukayo Saka before he took the ultimate penalty kick in the Euro 2020 final on July 11 after both teams were in a 1-1 draw after scintillating 120 minutes of unstoppable action.
The Englishman’s penalty was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma that saw England lose their most anticipated final in 55 years. Chiellini admitted to having screamed the cursed word ‘Kiricocho’ before Saka could take the penalty.
The curse is said to have been used for decades by footballers whenever they desired to foil the endeavours of the opponents and inflict bad luck upon them. Previously, Borrusia Dortmund forward Erling Halaand has also been recorded with the same word on an occasion during a penalty shootout against Sevilla.
The word was originated from an Argentine fan named Juan Kiricocho back in 1982. A die-hard supporter of Argentine club Estudiantes de la Plata, Kiricocho used to attend the club’s training sessions quite often. However, one fine day, Estudiantes head coach Carlos Bilardo noticed that his players bizarrely got injured whenever Kiricocho attended the training sessions.
Bilardo, as the narrative goes, told Kiricocho to attend training sessions of their opponents, hoping to utilise his jinxing powers to hurt the opposition and it worked. Estudiantes won the title in 1982 losing just a match. “Kiricocho was a kid from La Plata who was always with us, and since that year we were champions (in 1982), we adopted him as our mascot,” Bilardo once said.
Since then the curse has expanded over the region even reaching to Europe. Superstitious football fans believe in a lot of other bad omens too like meeting with rapper and singer Drake inflicts negative effect on the player which has come to light in numerous occasions.