With the World Cup just a few days away, it seems that everybody is looking for a way to predict how their country will do at the tournament in Russia. Some are looking at the form, others are looking at past tournaments and a small few are even looking at the stars.
Well, an octopus did once correctly predict the scores for almost a whole tournament, so it’s hardly outlandish to think that astrology might have a few answers. That was the view of former France manager, Raymond Domenech, who consulted astrology prior to several of his team’s big games.
In 2016, he spoke to journalist Paul Doyle about this interest and explained why he thought it was useful. Initially, he said that what attracted him to astrology was finding new ways to understand the human psyche.
He said: “I’m a very inquisitive person,” he says. “I’ve always been interested in anything that can help understanding of how humans work. I studied all the techniques of communication, transactional analysis and so on. I also studied astrology and graphology. If I had said ‘I’m doing graphology’ no one would have picked up on it because it has a scientific side.”
Domenech went on to explain that one of the reason people were so interested in his practice was because of the mystery of the subject matter.
He added: “But astrology has a mystical side and as soon as I mentioned it people started thinking I wear a wizard’s hat on my head and gaze into crystal balls. Astrology has a value in finding out about people’s character. Not in predicting the future or anything like that, but in working out people’s profile.”
Despite his interest, the former France coach drew the line when it came to using astrology for certain managerial tasks, such as picking the side. He explained as much to The Guardian reporter, stating: “When I started getting interested in astrology I read a book called Astrologie et Education which said that you’re not going to educate a Capricorn kid in the same way as you would educate a Gemini kid. One is quite organised, straight, rather introverted but very determined – these are just rules of thumb – and Geminis go in all directions so you can’t strap them into a chair and say ‘you have to do your work’ because they will do it naturally while roaming from one room to another.
“That struck me. I said to myself: ‘It’s true that you can’t manage different people in the same way so you have to try to figure out how best to proceed.’ So that’s all I used it for. I never used it for selecting players for France. Never.”
Domenech has been out of management since his side’s disappointing 2010 World Cup, but we wonder will any other manager look up to the stars for guidance during this summer’s tournament.