Strange rituals: Sergio Goycochea, Argentina’s 1990 WC hero

Sergio Goycochea and Argentina.jpg
All players in every game go through every type of ritualistic behavior that they think will make Lady Luck smile on them. The association between ritualistic behavior and a desired outcome is what BF Skinner studied in great detail and forms the basis of superstition, and even possibly religion.
In the US, we see this everytime a baseball player steps out on the plate, an sequence of movements elaborately pantomimed, where he will touch his helmet a certain number of times, whack his boot with the bat, and trace the cross before settling down to his stance. Watch Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Jason Giambi. Even pitchers and managers have their behaviors down pat before a pitch or before a call.
These are some of the tamer rituals and soccer has plenty of them too. But among the more bizarre rituals was that of Sergio Goycochea, the Argentinian goalkeeper in the 1990 World Cup. Before any penalty kick taken he would hitch up his shorts and urinate on the grass. In full view of thousands of specators and the TV media.
And it worked as Argentina beat Italy in the 1990 WC semi-fianls. Goycochea made spectacular saves of Robert Donadoni’s and Aldo Serena’s penalty kicks that took Argentina to the final against W. Germany. And in the finals he almost kept out Andreas Brehme’s penalty in the 85th minute that gave the Germans their title.
Maybe it was the sight of Goycochea peeing on the grass that threw of Donadoni and Serena. But it worked.
As for Goycochea nowadays, he partners good friend Diego Maradona’s popular TV programme La Noche Del Diez on Argentina’s channel 13. Hopefully he uses the loo before his TV appearances.

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One comment on “Strange rituals: Sergio Goycochea, Argentina’s 1990 WC hero
  1. It all started on the quarter-finals match against Yugoslavia.
    After overtime the game went to penalties and Goycochea needed to take a piss really bad but there was no time to go to the locker-rooms, so all the argentinian players rounded him at around midfield and he urinated on the grass.
    After the relief, he stopped the pentalites to take Argentina to semifinals against Italy, and that game went to penalties too, so this time they repeated the incident on purpose and again, he stopped 2 penalties and took Argentina to the World Cup finals against Germany.
    But it wasn’t something he would do before every penalty kick, it was before the shoot-out start.
    The first time it was sheer necesity, the 2nd time was a ritual. Too bad they didn’t let him piss before the non-existent penalty against Germany, ’cause he would’ve stopped that one too!!!!

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