People may say Giorgio Chiellini is a master of the ‘dark arts’ of defending, but that seemingly extends to an Argentine curse during Bukayo Saka’s penalty as well.
Italy beat England 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out at Wembley after the UEFA EURO 2020 Final ended 1-1.
After Jorginho’s spot-kick was saved by Jordan Pickford, Saka had the chance to force sudden death, but he too was denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Chiellini was spotted just before the final penalty shouting something, which has now been identified as: ‘Kiricocho.’
Tension → elation
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 12, 2021
It’s likely he learned it from some of his teammates from Argentina, for example Paulo Dybala, as this is a ‘curse’ created by legendary Argentina coach Carlos Bilardo.
The story goes that the 1986 World Cup winner was in charge of Estudiantes in 1982 when he realised a fan called Kiricocho was always present when players got injured in training.
So, he decided to harness this supporter’s unfortunate powers by sending him to watch opponents train, hoping he’d have the same effect on them.
It worked, because Estudiantes won the title and the only team they lost against – Boca Juniors – had never been visited by Kiricocho.
Chiellini must’ve learned the story and confirmed it all to an ESPN Argentina reporter with a video message.
“Hello Christian, I confirm everything! Kiricocho!”
— ESPN Argentina (@ESPNArgentina) July 12, 2021