Giorgio Chiellini claims that he used an old football curse on Bukayo Saka ahead of the Englishman’s failure to convert the Three Lions’ fifth penalty on Sunday, which saw Italy crowned Euro 2020 champions.
The Italy defender was seen shouting something as the teenager stepped forward to take his spot kick – which Gianluigi Donarumma saved – and he has now confirmed what that was.
Christian Martin, an ESPN reporter in Argentina, claimed that Chiellini had been shouting “Kiricocho” at Saka, which the Juventus captain has now confirmed.
“Ciao Christian, I can confirm everything. Kiricocho,” said Chiellini, laughing, in a video posted by ESPN Argentina.
¡CONFIRMADO: DIJO’KIRICOCHO’! Chiellini le aseguró a @askomartin que utilizó la famosa maldición identificada con Estudiantes para que Inglaterra erre el último penal. pic.twitter.com/XxR9r8lV95
— ESPN Argentina (@ESPNArgentina) July 12, 2021
What is the story of Kiricocho?
The tale of Kiricocho originates from Argentina and iconic coach Carlos Bilardo.
While coaching Estudiantes, Bilardo noticed that a particular fan was always present at training sessions when something went wrong – for example, players getting injured. The fan’s name was Kiricocho.
Bilardo decided to try to use Kiricocho’s apparent powers in his favour, and so the supporter was sent to the training sessions of Estudiantes’ opponents.
Bilardo’s side would go on to win the league that year and only lost to Boca Juniors, who Kiricocho never visited.