Try not to panic, but there appears to be a malevolent phenomenon that is spreading through the football world. No, not VAR — something far, far more troubling.
We’re talking about the “Drake Curse,” which has long hindered various U.S. sports teams and now would appear to have made the jump to European soccer.
For the uninitiated: whenever rapper Drake demonstrates any kind of support for a team — be it by wearing their jersey, meeting their stars or attending their games — said team immediately tends to see its fortunes nosedive.
With Drake appearing in concerts across Europe this spring, clubs in the continent’s major leagues have had prolonged exposure to the hoodoo.
Indeed, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang strayed too close to the hip-hop star a fortnight ago and, lo and behold, Arsenal slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat against Everton just a couple of days later.
📸 aubameyang97 on IG pic.twitter.com/0QXIKYCcDv
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) 3 April 2019
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha also got Draked this week, mere hours before his team found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-1 home loss to Manchester City (not that Pep Guardiola’s team would have needed much help from the supernatural to win at Selhurst Park).
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) 9 April 2019
But it is poor old Layvin Kurzawa who has been hit hardest: his Paris Saint-Germain side fell to their worst league defeat in 19 years — an embarrassing 5-1 mauling by Lille that kept PSG waiting to seal the Ligue 1 title — soon after their left-back looked directly at Drake after one of his O2 shows.
Call it paranoia, coincidence or even superstition if you must but you cannot deny that the evidence is compelling and, perhaps more daunting, beginning to stack up.
Drake’s European tour continues until the end of April, so the continent may not see the curse lift for a while yet…