Rio Ferdinand reveals former teammate's peculiar pre-match superstition
"He thought it was bad luck."
Rio Ferdinand has revealed Joe Cole's peculiar pre-match superstition. The pair played together at West Ham United and for England, and Rio has said that Cole, one of the most naturally talented players of the English "golden generation", had an unusual attitude to the football before games.
The former Manchester United defender said that, before England matches, some of the players used to play two-touch games in the changing room.
However, Cole wouldn't touch the ball because he thought it was bad luck to do so before a match.
This is genuinely excellent, they nail exactly why the team didn't win a trophy https://t.co/a1grtjo1Cz
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Ferdinand said the former Chelsea winger would avoid touching the ball in the dressing room to such an extent that he "jumped" out of the way when the ball rolled towards him.
Frank Lampard, who played alongside Cole at Chelsea and England, confirmed Rio's story, saying that their former teammate was very superstitious in the dressing room before matches.
"If the ball touched him, and he wasn't looking, that was it, his head was gone," Lampard said.
You can watch the clip form BT Sport's show Premier League Tonight here:
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Cole's superstition was unusual, especially considering his ability on the ball, but it's nothing compared to that of David James.
The former England goalkeeper said his pre-game routine was "so complex it could fill a page."
"It was made up of things like going into the urinals, waiting until they were empty and spitting on the wall," he said.