Friday, 18 July 2014

Funny: The Tale of the Jersey #7 at Sporting Clube de Portugal

For many, the "seven" is related to the wonders of the world, with the days of the week or the mortal sins, but in Sporting Clube de Portugal a multi-sports club based in Portugal's capital city of Lisbon, the number has been associated with a football (or soccer for our American friends!) curse.

Now that the 2014/2015 season is approaching I will tell you the tale of the famous jersey #7 at Sporting. The last player wearing the #7 Jersey without major injuries or problems was Luis Figo. Figo left Sporting in the end of season 1994/1995 and with that we start our tale...

In the 1995/1996 season, Sá Pinto inherited the jersey from Figo, however some time after the player was suspended for one year for assaulting the national coach(!).

In the 1997/1998 season, Sá Pinto went to Real Sociedad and another player, Iordanov, got the #7. The Bulgarian striker suffered a serious car accident in Bulgaria and shortly after it was detected multiple sclerosis.

In 1998/1999 the sweater was given to Leandro Machado. The Brazilian was best known for what he did off the field than actually within the field... so he left the club a few time after.

The following season in 1999/2000, the "victim" was Delfim, who would suffer a serious knee injury which affected the rest of his career.

In 2001, Sá Pinto returned to Sporting and chose again the #7.... the consequence? several operations to his knees... the player changed for the #10 in the following season.

In 2002/2003, the jersey was for Marius Niculae, the Romanian striker had a great season start in the Sporting, but he would suffer a serious knee and later a foot injury.

For the season 2003/2004 to 2006/2007 no player wore the jersey of Sporting.

In 2007/2008 a new comer Marat Izmailov picked the jersey #7, after a year without major injuries the supporters celebrated since the curse was over, however on the second year the Russian would suffer serious knee injury that left him on the side for half a year and permanently affecting his game, after that he rarely played at Sporting.

In 2011/2012 Izmailov tired of his poor condition picked the #10 and a new player, Valeri Bojinov, decided to pick the #7. After a few months in the club, Bojinov, picked a injury that took him out from the squad for several months. On 20 January 2012, Sporting declared Bojinov persona non-grata, forbidding the player from entering the stadium or the training academy due to his poor behaviour in the club (currently Sporting and Bojinov have a court case with UEFA).

In 2012/2013 it was the time of Jeffrén Suárez picking the #7, however on his first game Jeffrén got a serious injury that left him out of the squad for half of a season. He never really played after that.

In the mid-season of 2013/2014 the club brings Shikabala. The player who is sometimes called "the magician", mentioned that western curses do not apply to Egyptian footballers and especially to magicians, Shikabala went to pick the #7. In the first month with Sporting Shikabala got an injury during a training which left him outside the main squad only returning for the last game of the season.

So now it is the beginning of the 2014/2015 season and it seems that Shikabala is keeping the #7... let us hope that the Jersey #7 curse is not really a curse but an unfortunate coincidence. Are we taking any bets?

PS: In case you were wondering, Cristiano Ronaldo never played with the #7 at Sporting, he was the #28.

EDIT 2014/2015: So... Shikabala is having issues with Sporting, seeing that he was not picked for the main team, Shikabala decided to rebel and leave Portugal although he still has a contract with Sporting (!!), the club stopped paying his salary and now he is in a unknown location abroad. More and more supporters and claiming that no one should wear the jersey #7.

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Blog Editor and Owner: Luis Aparicio Fernandes (or Mikey) is a Business Expert and a Traveler based in Sydney, Australia. He is a member of The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma due to his achievements in business. You can follow Luis on Google+, and LinkedIn.