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Soccer Talismans

With an amulet around their necks these players bring some magic to the club. Is it hard work? Is it a steady confidence or a certain style? Certain players add that extra punch that pulls a team together and helps them win games and are deemed talismans.

Perhaps when that player is on the pitch the team, collectively, knows they have a chance. There’s something this player can do, hit a cross, make a tackle, add that extra fight, make a save, score, and the team feels at ease with that player on the field. This player let’s them go about their business and feel comfortable. A talisman is something you must have with you—it keeps you safe or gives you powers or acts as a navigational device, a compass or GPS, and in this case, the talisman, this unique player helps your team win.

I think it might have been a mistake by Chelsea to get rid of William Gallas; his heart was a big part of Chelsea and now he sports a Mohawk and scored a goal against his old club.  And John Terry, maybe Chelsea's talisman, left the game injured.  Arensal has also handed Gallas the captain’s arms band and they are at the top of the table.  He has brought the fight to Arsenal that they were missing before.

Many times teams think they can get rid of players that go about their business without much fan fair or squawking for more attention or money, but once they send the player off, the results fall.

Over at Real Madrid, they threw away a midfielder named Makelele, who the director said could only pass the ball four yards, but with Zidane along his side that’s all he needed to do. He played his role. When Real Madrid unloaded Makelele, they fell apart and tried to bring in other players to fill replace him, like Gravesen, but the team was never the same. When coaches or directors get rid of key players who were the talisman of the team, players a bit under the radar but beloved by fans and players, the decision has dire consequences for a club. A talisman takes a team from mediocrity to championships—they have something extra and they’re often the engine of the team.

'We've just transferred a player who can only pass the ball four yards and bought another [Beckham] who can pass it forty' - Perez (Real Madrid Director)

However, the true mark of a talisman is scoring goals. Last year in the Enlish Premier League, Tevez begin to earn the respect of the West Ham fans and was deemed the clubs talisman. He then goes a step further, scoring a goal against his current team, Manchester United, ensuring West Ham would stay aloft in the top flight in England.

Dempsey was and is turning into a talisman for this club, Fulham, scoring the goal last year against Liverpool to keep them in the premiership and now scoring and assisting on a regular basis, although his play the last few weeks has been sub par.

A player recently earning the moniker of the talisman is James McFadden, of Everton and Scotland. The confounding thing is he’s magic for his country but hasn’t turned on the charm yet for his club, Everton.

A short list of some talismans:

  • Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)
  • Roy Keane (His days with Manchester United)
  • Deco (Barcelona)
  • Claude Makelele (When he was at Real Madrid)
  • William Gallas (Arsenal)
  • Ludovic Giuly (Monaco, Barcelona, Roma)
  • Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea)
  • Buffon (Italy – World Cup 2006)
  • Zidane (Real Madrid)
  • Gerrad (Liverpool)
  • Giggs (Manchester United)
  • Cesc Fabregas (Replaces Henry at Arsenal)
  • Rivaldo (During his time at Barcelona)
  • Iker Casillas (Too key for his club not mention)
  • Beckahm (LA Galaxy)
  • Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
  • Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo)


Talisman's Go Deeper

Routines create comfort and help you relax, a talisman, helps you forget about the pressure or that it's not all upon you - you're not just playing for yourself but for your God, family, country, is that more pressure or does it help you up your game.

Amulets they wear around their necks will ward off bullets. War, too, encourages superstition.

Who You Play For

At the same time, players have their own lucky charms or talismans, who they play for.  They might wear the name of the child written under their shirt or do the thumb sucking celebration in honor of their new baby after they score a goal.  And I'm sure a part of them is playing for for their wives or girlfriends who stand by them.

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