There are a lot of superstitions in sports, but soccer fans have a unique scapegoat to blame when their teams lose.
Brazilian fans and media have nicknamed Mick Jagger “pé frio,” a term for a person who brings back luck, because they believe the Rolling Stones frontman is the kiss of death for teams playing in the World Cup.
According to the Associated Press, World Cup viewers believe that every time 70-year-old Jagger announces his support for a team, that team goes on to lose. And it wasn’t just Tuesday for Italy’s big loss; it’s happened in previous years, too.
Exhibit A: Jagger told fans during a show in Rome on Saturday that Italy would beat Uruguay and advance to the knockout phase. The Italians ended up losing on Tuesday and were eliminated.
Exhibit B: He told fans in Lisbon in May that Portugal would win the entire 2014 World Cup. However, the Portuguese team is treading on dangerous waters and may be eliminated in the next game if they lose.
Exhibit C: Jagger also rooted for his home team of England last Thursday, but they lost to Uruguay.
Jagger is now widely known as soccer's “pé frio,” a phrase that literally means “cold feet” but is an expression for a bad luck charm. If you search for the word, Jagger is even referenced, like in this blog.
In fact, the AP called the “Bad Luck Jagger” phenomenon a “modern World Cup tradition,” because this is not the first time the rocker was pinned as the angel of death. During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Brazilian fans came to the conclusion their team lost in the quarterfinal to the Netherlands because Jagger wore a Brazilian jersey to the game. He reportedly also joined Bill Clinton to cheer on the United States, but Team USA lost to Ghana in the second round. Jagger was also blamed for England’s loss against Germany that year.
The AP reports that Brazilian fans are now following Jagger’s team picks closely, begging him not to support Brazil in fear the country’s home team will lose. Others are using Jagger to their advantage, hoping he will pick Argentina, the country’s despised rival, so the team loses.