Reina's rituals: Liverpool No 1 acts out pre-match superstitions on TV show… but will it be enough to stop Van Persie
10:31 GMT, 10 January 2013
11:37 GMT, 10 January 2013
As a goalkeeper coming up against the Barclays Premier League's most in-form striker this weekend, Liverpool's Pepe Reina will need all the help he can get.
Thankfully, the Spaniard will be very thorough in his preparations as he bids to thwart Manchester United's Robin van Persie at Old Trafford.
The superstitious keeper talked through his elaborate pre-match rituals on a Spanish television show this week, proving that he leaves absolutely nothing to chance.
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Superstitious: Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina goes through an elaborate series of rituals before kick-off and showed them on a Spanish TV show
To howls of laughter from the studio audience, Reina acted out the routine he will perform when he reaches the goalmouth ahead of kick-off on Sunday afternoon.
He touches the turf and then crosses himself, knocks both posts and the crossbar, before pacing out four strides into his six-yard area.
Reina then limbers up with some squat thrusts and a couple of shimmies to get the muscles warm.
But as he revealed in his autobiography last year, Reina's rituals start the evening before when he eats two ham and cheese toasties and drinks a glass of wine to help him sleep.
Driven: Reina ensures his car is full of petrol before every home matchday
But it's on home match days that things start to get a little weird. He wrote: 'I get up and have a shower, put my suit on and then head out to the car to buy petrol that I usually don't need.
'Six hours before kick-off at Anfield, and before I can even think about the game, I have to get to a petrol station.
'After getting in the car, I turn the engine on and look at the fuel gauge.
'It was almost full. I still need petrol, though, so I head to the same garage that I always go to when Liverpool are at home, a small filling station almost exactly halfway between my home and the stadium.
Success: Reina is a World Cup winner, so perhaps his elaborate rituals do work
'I get there, open the petrol cap and begin to refuel. I am only at the pump for 20 seconds or so before the tank is full, so I go in to pay. The cashier gives me a bit of a funny look.
'To be fair, I cannot blame him. I have just pulled on to his forecourt, queued up for five minutes behind other motorists and all for 8 worth of petrol, just so my tank is full to the brim.
'He does not know it, but I do the same thing before every home game. It's one of countless rituals I have to perform to make sure I am in the right frame of mind to play for Liverpool.
'My desperation for success makes me superstitious.'
VIDEO: Reina acts out his pre-match routine on TV show (in Spanish)