Borussia Dortmund is through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League after prevailing over Sevilla on Tuesday, thanks in large part to Erling Haaland. The 20-year-old Norwegian phenom scored two goals in the second leg, and then gave a tremendous post-match interview.
Haaland’s second goal of the night was the subject of a great deal of controversy. First he scored with a preposterous chip shot from a tight angle, but the goal was disallowed in favor of a penalty for foul that occurred before the shot. Sevilla goalkeeper Bono saved the first penalty attempt, but was ruled to have come off his line, so Haaland was allowed to have another go at it.
Haaland buried the second attempt and got up in Bono’s face, yelling something that made Bono’s teammates so upset they chased him around the pitch.
Haaland didn’t mince words in his post-match interview, saying of the two penalty attempts, “I took it again and then I scored when he didn't cheat.”
He was also asked about the exchange of words with Bono, but Haaland didn’t understand what had come out of his own mouth. No, really.
“I don't know what it means,” he said. “But I said what he said after I missed the first one. Maybe it's karma in this world. I think so after this.”
It appears to have been a single word: “Quiricocho.”
Like Haaland, I’m having a hard time discerning what “quiricocho” means. Through a lot of googling and extensive use of Google Translate, I think I’ve got a pretty good idea, but I’m far from certain.
The word traces back to Argentina in the ’60s, where the club Estudiantes de La Plata had a fan named Quiricocho. This guy was apparently bad luck, and so the Estudiantes players asked him to greet opponents before the game so his bad juju would rub off on them. Before a game against powerhouse Boca Juniors, security staff prevented Quiricocho from getting near the players. Instead, Estudiantes players resorted to yelling “Quiricocho!” before Boca Juniors penalty attempts, and the Buenos Aires giants didn’t score a single one. That’s the way the story goes, at least.
In the years since, Argentine players have made a habit of shouting “Quiricocho!” before penalty attempts. During the 2019 Copa America third-place game, for example, Argentina’s Paulo Dybala tried to throw Chile’s Arturo Vidal for a loop with a “Quiricocho!” (It didn’t work.)
But back to Haaland. It sure sounds like he yelled “Quiricocho!” during his run-up, which takes some major guts. Just another reason why he’s one of the most entertaining players in soccer today.
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