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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.