Footballers can be odd at the best of times.
In fact, some of the weird and wonderful characters that shine in the most popular sport on the planet are arguably part of the attraction.
It must be said that pre-match rituals or superstitions are by all means not exclusive to football but there have been some pretty good ones down the years.
Whether it be Laurent Blanc kissing Fabian Barthez’s head at the 1998 World Cup or England’s hero from 1966, Bobby Moore, and his insistence to be the last player to put on his shorts in the changing room, it’s always intriguing to see what little things footballers have to do before the referee blows his whistle.
Borussia Dortmund’s goalkeeper Roman Burki is the latest star to have his ritual revealed and it’s a little bit strange, to say the least.
Burki, who has been at Dortmund since 2015, has to do one thing before kick-off of every game – touch the match ball.
So the teams emerge from the tunnel, shake each others’ hands and then disperse to take their positions.
Not Burki, though, who likes to lurk behind the referee as he is giving the two captains his final instructions and perform the coin toss.
As you can see in the video Dortmund released below, the Switzerland international just has to get his hands on the ball – even if that means stealing it from a young mascot or the referee.
Of course, Burki’s teammates are all used to it by now but he gets some very strange looks from the officials and the opposition. How dare he try to touch it?
We’d love to see what would happen if someone refuses to pass him the ball. Does he self-combust or something?
As with most rituals players hope will bring them good luck, it isn’t 100% reliable.
Only on Tuesday Burki was powerless to prevent Real Madrid finding the back of the net three times in a 3-1 defeat for the Germans in the Champions League.
However, he might claim it is currently having some effect on Dortmund’s league form.
Peter Bosz’s side sit top of the Bundesliga and are unbeaten in their opening six games of the campaign.
Whatever works for you we suppose!