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WITCH DOCTOR

Did Luis Figo put a curse on Real Madrid’s number ten shirt?

Los Blancos have struggled to find a number ten since Figo departed in 2005

Luis Figo is a witch.

Don’t believe us? We know, it’s quite a lot to take in.

But take a look at Real Madrid’s number tens since Figo left the Bernabeu and it becomes clear that he’s put a curse on the shirt.

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The witch in action alongside Ronaldo

AP:Associated Press
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The witch in action alongside Ronaldo

Robinho (2005-2008)

The new Pele replaced the old Cristiano Ronaldo when Figo departed Madrid for Inter Milan in 2005.

Two La Liga titles and a Spanish Super Cup was a paltry return for a player who flattered to deceive too often.

His highlight was undoubtedly scrapping with Thomas Gravesen in training. Maybe Gravesen was just trying to kick the curse out of him?

We wonder who won that fight?

AP:Associated Press
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We wonder who won that fight?

Wesley Sneijder (2008-2009)

Remember when Madrid had all the best Dutch players in world football?

Sneijder’s first season in Madrid, wearing the number 23, resulted in winning a league title, with the Dutchman scoring an impressive nine league goals.

But a switch to the vacated number ten shirt saw Madrid miss out on the title to Barcelona by nine points.

Little Wes in action

AP:Associated Press
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Little Wes in action

Lassana Diarra (2009-2011)

Not only did Diarra wear the number ten at Madrid, he also wore the name ‘Lass’. A true maverick, we’re sure you’ll all agree.

The problem with mavericks is that they tend to only shine in glimpses.

Diarra’s only league title came after he vacated the number ten to Mesut Ozil and passed on the curse to the German.

A true maverick

Reuters
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A true maverick

Mesut Ozil (20011-2014)

Ahh Mesut, the misunderstood genius.

Like Sneijder, Ozil arrived at Madrid wearing the number 23 and only took up the number ten after it had been vacated by Diarra.

His three seasons as the ten only brought two titles- La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup.

‘Change that number on your back ASAP Mesut’

Getty Images
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‘Change that number on your back ASAP Mesut’

James Rodriguez (2014-2017)

Everything was set for Rodriguez to be the star man at Madrid.

The poster boy looks. The wand of a left foot. The South American swagger.

But, like trying to fit a square peg into a Florentio Perez shaped hole, Rodriguez couldn’t find a place among Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

Will Bayern have better luck?

We hope they wrote an anti-number ten shirt into his contract

Getty Images
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We hope they wrote an anti-number ten shirt into his contract

2017-?

Kylian Mbappe? Eden Hazard? Dele Alli?

Whoever is the next incumbent of Madrid’s number ten shirt, the odds are likely to be stacked against them.

Wave goodbye to that promising career, Dele.

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