Kiricocho Curse stopped Bukayo Saka’s Penalty: Giorgio Cheillini explains Euro 2020 Controversy

Italy predicted lineup vs Bulgaria may not feature Chiellini.
Italy predicted lineup vs Bulgaria may not feature Chiellini.

Giorgio Chiellini shouted “kiricocho” as Bukayo Saka stepped up to take England’s fifth penalty against Italy in the final of Euro 2020, with Alley Sport breaking the complete mystery behind this Kiricocho Curse.

Kiricocho Curse
Kiricocho Curse. Image Credit: Ruetir

Ahead of Saka’s penalty, Jordan Pickford had just saved Jorginho’s spot-kick. This left the scores at 3-2 to Italy with Saka’s kick being the last one before sudden death.

Saka had to score to keep England’s hopes of winning Euro 2020 alive. Unfortunately for the Three Lions, the 19-year-old’s strike was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

In the aftermath, footage emerged which saw Chiellini shout “kiricocho” as Saka walked up to take his penalty.After the game, Chiellini spoke to ESPN Argentina and he said: “I confirm everything to you. Kiricocho!”.

The players of Primera Division side Estudiantes would pick up injuries when Kiricocho (a supporter of the club) attended their training sessions.Their manager – Carlos Bilardo – tested this method out as he had the supporter attend all their games that season. It seemed to work as the only game they lost that year was the one Kiricocho missed.As a result, this term has been labelled as a curse ever since in Argentina.

What is the Kiricocho curse?

Kiricocho Curse stopped Bukayo Saka's Penalty: Giorgio Cheillini explains Euro 2020 Controversy 1
Kiricocho Curse. Image Credit: Getty

Juan Carlos ‘Kiricocho’, or Quiricocho according to some versions of the story, was a hardcore supporter of Argentinian club Estudiantes de la Plata during the 1980s.

The fan even attended some of the club’s training sessions, but Estudiantes head coach Carlos Bilardo began to notice that his players mysteriously seemed to get injured whenever Kiricocho was present. Bilardo, as the legend goes, told Kiricocho to attend training sessions of Estudiantes’ rivals, hoping to utilise his powers to help, rather than hurt his side. “Kiricocho was a kid from La Plata who was always with us, and since that year we were champions [in 1982], we adopted him as our mascot,” Bilardo once remarked.

“He was a good kid but then I didn’t see him again. The last time I was coaching Estudiantes [in 2003-04] I asked after him and nobody knew anything.”The legend of Kiricocho has since spread throughout the footballing world, with players now routinely using the word when they want to put a curse on their opponents.

Kiricocho Curse stopped Bukayo Saka’s Penalty? Do you think it is true? Tell us in the comments!

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