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How Iker Casillas’ superstitions secured Spanish victory

When Spain embarrassingly lost its World Cup 2010 opener to Switzerland, the media was quick to say keeper Iker Casillas was distracted by his ladyfriend Sara Carbonero, who was delivering team news on camera behind the Spanish goal shortly before the match. The superstitious Casillas, however, appears to hold his own style and grooming regime accountable for Spain's stumbling start to the World Cup campaign.

In the picture above left, Casillas is wearing the blue kit that he previosuly rocked in friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Poland. He's also sporting his trademark Three Musketeers facial hair on top of that big sad losing face. The kit and beard, however, were obviously considered a source of misfortune for Spain's No. 1, as he changed his look to meet Honduras.

As you can see in the picture above right, he shaved off the 'tache and goatee for yesterday's game, giving him the same clean look he sported a few years ago. Spanish paper Marca insist this was a deliberate move to "restore the values and feelings that led him to success at Euro 2008." Additionally, the keeper wore green last night, which is not only a nod to Spanish shot-stopping legend Luis Arconada, but it's also the strip he wore in recent friendly victories over Argentina and France.

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Sara Carbonero – the Spanish reporter with a surname that always makes me crave Italian food – was present as ever behind the goal before yesterday's game, which should mean she is officially vindicated from her scapegoat status. She'll almost certainly continue her pre-game role for the rest of Spain's tournament, and you can bet your sweet bippy that Casillas will be clean shaven and wearing green on Friday.

Images: Getty

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