France meet Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday, and one French player’s impressive facial hair could be the key to victory, according to some of his superstitious teammates.
Les Bleus players have taken to touching defender Adil Rami’s luxuriant mustache before games in the belief that it brings them luck.
The tradition was reportedly started by attacking midfielder Antoine Griezmann before the team’s group stage games, and has since been adopted as a pre-match ritual by all the squad’s players in Russia.
Rami, 32, is yet to make an appearance on the pitch in Russia but his mustache appears to have brought the team luck.
The Marseilles defender is dating Hollywood star Pamela Anderson, who has been in Russia supporting her beau and his team.
France emerged from their group unbeaten with two wins and a draw from their three games, before seeing off Argentina, Uruguay, and Belgium in the knockout stages.
They are seen by many as favorites to beat Croatia in Moscow on Sunday and clinch their second World Cup title.
Their first came on home soil back in 1998, and also saw a pre-match superstition, on that occasion involving defender Laurent Blanc kissing goalkeeper Fabien Barthez’s bald head before games.
Another mustache making the news at the World Cup was the one belonging to Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov.
Going into the tournament, some Russian celebrities and fans sprouted facial hair of their own as part of the ‘Mustache of Hope’ campaign to support the manager and his team.
Cherchesov guided Russia to their best ever World Cup run as they reached the quarter-finals, before going out on penalties to Croatia, France’s opponents on Sunday.