Jamie Vardy has revealed a bizarre pre-match routine, that includes drinking port out of a Lucozade bottle, which helped him fire Leicester to their unlikely Premier League title success last season.
The 29-year-old striker enjoyed a breakout season as he scored 24 league goals and won his first England call-up to cap a stunning rise from non-League football.
That success was achieved on the back of an unconventional high-caffeine diet in the 24 hours before a match that Vardy says helped him to “run around like a nutjob”.
In addition to drinking port on the night before a match, Vardy would also drink three cans of Red Bull and a double espresso before a match, with his only meal a cheese and ham omelette.
“I can’t say why it started, because I genuinely don’t know, but I decided to drink a glass of port on the eve of every game in the 2015-16 season,” Vardy wrote in his autobiography ‘Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story’ which is being serialised in The Daily Mail.
“I’m not normally superstitious but from the moment I scored against Sunderland on the opening day, I didn’t want to change anything.
“I fill a small plastic water or Lucozade bottle to halfway and just sip the port while watching television. It tastes like Ribena to me, and it helps me switch off and get to sleep a bit easier the night before a game.”
During Euro 2016, Vardy admitted that drinking Red Bull was a part of his training regime, as well as avoiding the gym, and his latest revelations have provided another insight into his unique match-day routine.
“While we’re waiting and killing a bit of time, I have a double espresso,” he said.
“We get into the dressing room and an hour-and-a-half before kick-off, and I’ll have a third can of Red Bull. But with this one I’ll sip it all the way until we go out for the warm-up, leaving a bit to finish off when I come back in.
“So three Red Bulls, a double espresso and a cheese and ham omelette is what makes me run around like a nutjob on matchday.”