Many strikers attribute their goal scoring – or lack of it – to various depositions. Some even have certain rituals they do before they get onto the pitch with the hope that fortune will smile on them and give them positive experiences in games.
For example, Real Madrid's Toni Kroos has used the same pair of boots for more than eight years despite the boot series being discontinued.
Meanwhile, Nigeria's striker Jerome Akor, who plays for French Ligue 1 side Montpellier, believes in a unique good-luck charm, but also insists it isn't about superstition.
The origins of Jerome Akor's lucky charm
At the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland in 2019, the 23-year-old was chosen to represent Nigeria at the tournament as he, alongside his teammates, was supplied football boots by sportswear giant Nike to use for the duration.
The boot, the Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 Pro, has been with him since then, four years after that competition. The boots stayed with Jerome despite him changing teams two times within four years.
Even though it sounds superstitious, the Montpellier striker insists it is nothing of such. Instead, he says it's his mere love for the boot and the happy times he has spent with it.
Jerome Akor lucky boots
Akor told Afrik-foot that he felt comfortable with the boots and wears them on match days as they have been some sort of good-luck charm for him.
“I got the boots when Nike supplied the team with kits when we were in Poland for the FIFA U20 World Cup. I was happy with the boot and I fell in love with it and I have kept it since then.” Akor revealed. “It is like a lucky charm for me as I have been with it all these years and I am not sure when I will stop using it. To be honest I have scored more than 20 goals wearing the boot this year. I have kept it since 2019. I cannot throw it away.”
Akor also revealed that Bayer Leverkusen star Victor Boniface also practices the same ‘faith in boots’ as he does. Both strikers have been in the goals this season in France and Germany, so there might just be something in those boots that has given them the confidence to score goals.
“We have other boots that we use to train with but on game day, I use the old boots. I treasure it and it has been my good-luck charm. It is the same with my friend Victor.” he added.
Jerome Akor's rise in French football
Jerome Akor came into the limelight after his move to French side Montpellier from Norwegian side Lillestroem for 4.5 million Euros. He wasted no time in setting the French top division.
The 23-year-old has notched 7 goals in 17 appearances for the French team who are 12th on the log with 18 points from 17 games.
His form has attracted interest from across the channel as Fulham and West Ham have reportedly cast their eyes on the striker.
Akor will hope his boots will continue to be his lucky charm as he aims to rake in the goals in France to help his team qualify for European football next season. Who knows, maybe Akor gets to wear the boots this January at AFCON 2023, if he can get a call to Nigeria's squad.