CRISTIAN ROMERO has spilled the beans on Lisandro Martinez’s unique pre-match ritual.
The Manchester United defender introduced the habit following Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening World Cup game – and the squad did not look back.
They went on to win Jules Rimet trophy for the first time since 1986.
Now back to club action with Spurs, Romero has reflected on “Licha” and his superstitious behaviour which coincided with the turnaround in form.
The 24-year-old told TyC Sports that Martinez bought a bunch of palo santo, which are small pieces of wood which releases a pleasant smell of pine and lemon.
Romero said: “Licha believes in everything, he’s very superstitious.
“After the game against Saudi Arabia we decided to change the bad energy, so every time before the games, Me, [Nahuel] Molina and Licha were in the [dressing] room and lighting palo santos everywhere to change the energy.”
It is not known if Martinez has repeated the same move at Manchester United to help spark their incredible 2023 form.
But it certainly seemed to do the trick for Argentina.
After that loss to Saudi Arabia, Argentina managed to get out of the group with wins over Mexico and Poland.
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON FOOTBALL
On his 1,000th career appearance, Messi then came up with the goods to get past Australia in the last 16, before Argentina needed penalties to get past the Dutch after a dramatic 120 minutes of football.
Croatia fell in the semi-final before Argentina overcame France in perhaps the greatest World Cup game of all time.