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The curse of the '18' shirt: Jovic, Cassano, Faubert, Woodgate

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,419

Pin The '18' is cursed at Real Madrid. EFE
The '18' is cursed at Real Madrid. EFE

The curse of the '18' shirt: Jovic, Cassano, Faubert, Woodgate

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,419

Luka Jovic had no idea what he was getting into when he decided to take the number 18 shirt at Real Madrid. It has been a shirt worn by players who have not performed, been injured for a long time or not spent long at the club. That said, there are always honourable exceptions.

Jonathan Woodgate, Julien Faubert, Antonio Cassano and Marcos Llorente. They are just some of the footballers to have worn the number 18 shirt at Real Madrid, like Luka Jovic.

The Serbian arrived at Madrid for 60 million euros as the main striker for the future. His great year at Eintracht Frankfurt made 'Los Blancos' get the cheque book out and beat other clubs to him.

But from the beginning, Jovic has suffered the curse of the '18'. Just after arriving, the Serbian got injured after a collision with Oblak in a friendly. Since then, he has suffered a number of injury setbacks and he still not recovered from them.

In a season and a half which has included a global pandemic, Jovic has suffered injuries to his ankle, hip, a muscle one, gastrointestinal problems, a blow to his calf, a foot injury when he went to Serbia, COVID-19 and finally a tear to one of his tendons.

As well as this, he has had off the field issues, especially in his homeland, Serbia, when he travelled there during lockdown and ran into trouble with the courts there. He also broke La Liga protocol when he had a barbecue with friends in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic despite being out injured.

Jovic Real Madrid

Other famous players to have suffered '18' curse

The number 18 shirt brings bad luck at Real Madrid. Although there are exceptions like Aitor Karanka, Nacho in his first few years and Rafael Alkorta, the truth is that the majority of players have not been up to standard.

One of the most memorable cases was that of Jonathan Woodgate. The English central defender arrived at Real Madrid in 2004 for 22 million euros. He was destined to be a great defender, but his career was hit hard by injury. 

In his first season, he did not even play a single minute for Real Madrid because of a fibrillar rupture in his thigh. He ended up not playing all season. When he did make his debut, he scored an own goal and got sent off.

Another of the famous players to have worn the '18' at the club was Antonio Cassano. The Italian is mostly remembered for his lack of fitness and his fights with Capello rather than his contributions on the pitch.

Cassano arrived in the Janauary transfer window, like Julien Faubert. Few people understood the signing of the Frenchman, who is well remembered by fans.

Real Madrid bought him from West Ham so that Juande Ramos had a winger. He played just 54 minutes, but he is best remembered for falling asleep on the bench in an away game against Villarreal. Faubert later denied this was the case.

Marcos Llorente also wore the '18' shirt. The midfielder left the club after doing very little at the club because of the coaching staff's lack of confidence in him. He went to Atletico Madrid where he has improved significantly and even become part of the Spanish national team.

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