Team Ecuador’s Witch Doctor
Superstitions originated thousands of years ago, when most men lived in tribes and knew very little about the world around them. Today, similar rituals still exist in sports – just with a more modern spin to them, although there are exceptions. In the spring of 2006, Team Ecuador sent a shaman, Tzamarenda Naychapi, to all 12 of Germany’s World Cup venues to banish evil spirits before the tournament. The shaman apparently drove some of the spirits out, leading Ecuador to its most successful World Cup ever (they’ve only made one other trip). Still, their run ended in a 1-0 loss to England in the Round of 16, after enjoying victories over Poland and Costa Rica in the group stage.
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