With the 2018 World Cup only a few days away, soccer (or Football as it's called in the rest of the world) will soon take the world by storm as teams and their fans do their best to honor their home countries with competitive play and a chance at securing the grand prize, the FIFA World Cup.
The 32 teams who qualified for this year's month-long tournament will surely be spending the following weeks preparing for their eventual opponents. By using state of the art technology and scouting practices, these hopefuls will need to know the ins and outs of their fellow competitors to ensure victory. But while practicing and studying will provide modern teams with the upper hand in competition, one team in the 1962 World Cup supplemented their training with something a little extra before facing each opponent.
The 1962 World Cup was hosted by the South American nation of Chile and the host team implemented a very peculiar form of training to prepare for each game... they would eat the stereotypical meal of their respective opponents.
Leading up to the World Cup, The Guardian reported that during the group stage, "the hosts employed an interesting new tactic of pre-game stereotypical eating: before the opening 3-1 win over Switzerland, they ate cheese, followed by a preparatory meal of spaghetti before the 2-0 success against Italy."
When the Chilean National Squad made it to the quarterfinals, they prepared for their game against the Soviet Union squad by drinking vodka. By some stroke of luck, the practice was once again a success and the team brought home a 2-1 victory.
When it came time for the semifinal match against eventual champion Brazil, the team drank coffee the night before the match. The Chilean squad's luck, however, would run out during their semi-final match with a 4-2 loss against eventual champion Brazil.
The Guardian would go on to state that "although [the coffee] perked them up no end in the morning, it couldn't stop the Brazilians from winning 4-2 and going on to lift the trophy. Eduardo Galeano later wrote in 'Soccer in Sun and Shadow' that Chile 'gobbled down spaghetti, chocolate, and vodka, but choked on the coffee.'"
The Chilean team would have to settle with the third-place prize in 1962, their best finish before and after that World Cup. And they won't be able to improve upon that ranking this year as they failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
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