World Cup Traditions: Panini, Octopus Paul, and Voodoo Dolls?

by Roberto Garcia   | 

It’s finally here. For the next month, the entire world will come together to enjoy the world’s greatest tournament: The World Cup. Here are a few noteworthy traditions that take place before and during the World Cup:

1. The Panini Album

Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post

Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post

This is one of the most glorious hobbies in the world. Filling out the World Cup Panini album with each of the participating players in the competition was every kid’s pastime before the competition started. Panini taught children all around the world how to negotiate and, well, in some cases even steal. Whatever got the job done to get the album finished before the World Cup started.

2. Octopus Paul

Photo Courtesy of CNN

Photo Courtesy of CNN

July 11th 2010. Madrid, Spain. The night was hotter than a sauna and Spain had just won their first World Cup. The Spanish had unofficially declared that for the next week, there would be no Octopus served in their paellas as a tribute to Octopus Paul (now a greater national symbol than King Juan Carlos). Throughout the entire 2010 World Cup, the famous Octopus Paul had predicted the winner of each match during the World Cup I. Kid you not. The octopus was served in two different boxes (with the flags of the countries playing on each box) and whichever box the squishy animal chose, would be predicted to be the winner.

3. Voodoo Dolls

Photo Courtesy of Pepsi

Photo Courtesy of Pepsi

Every four years, one or multiple third-world countries that attend the World Cup make voodoo dolls out of the best players of the opposing teams so that their home country can have a decent chance at the title. If it works for any of you let me know. I’ve got a few outstanding debts with a few people. Otherwise, good luck with that.

4. The Holy Shirt

Photo Courtesy of Nike

Photo Courtesy of Nike

Every single damn fan has this shirt. It smells, but it works. I’ve got one myself and unfortunately for me it happens to be a Hollister t-shirt, it still works, but I look like a twelve year old with it on. My pride is more important than my team. Sorry guys.

5. Shirt Exchange

Photo Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

Photo Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

This is without a doubt the most respected tradition in any sport. At the end of each match rivals exchange jerseys as a sign of respect for each other. It all started out in 1931 when the French were so psyched that they had finally defeated the English at a match that they asked them to give them their shirts as souvenirs. Some teams that are unlikely to exchange jerseys are USA-Mexico and Argentina-England.

6. Songs

No, not those FIFA official songs that sound like their out of the latest Disney movie. We’re talking hardcore chants that intimidate anyone that’s not used to the atmosphere.

7. Hat-Trick

Photo Courtesy of The Telegraph

Photo Courtesy of The Telegraph

This applies to any football competition, but is worthwhile mentioning. If a single player scores three goals in the same match, he gets to take the ball home has a reminder of his incredible feat (feet?) that day.

8. Monolo el del Bombo

Photo Courtesy of Taringa

Photo Courtesy of Taringa

This guy never fails. As long as we can remember, this guy has gone to every single Spanish international match, every Euro Cup and World Cup. Except that time in 2010 when Spain finally won the World Cup, he had to go back home during the group stage because he fell ill. Murphy’s Law can be a true b****. The team pays for all of his expenses.

 

Are there any World Cup traditions that we’re missing?

 

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