In the early hours of Sunday, a video surfaced on the Internet of Canadian rapper Drake revealing that his final prediction is that Argentina will take home the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He even placed a $1,000,000 bet on the South American team triumphing over France on Dec. 18 in Doha’s Lusail Stadium. Not long after, a number of online users took to Twitter and Instagram to prematurely congratulate France for defeating Argentina based on the “Drake Curse”.
According to Internet lore, the “Drake Curse” is a phenomenon that suggests that any team or individual that receives support from the Toronto-born rapper ends up suffering some kind of misfortune, meaning they either lose the game or end up playing decisively bad. Put simply, if the multiple Grammy Award-winner is spotted wearing a team’s shirt, posing for a photo with an athlete, or even publicly voices his support for any particular team or person, that team or person will go on to lose.
In fact, just before the World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Nov. 20, Canadian footballer Alphonso Davies posted a picture on Instagram of him and Drake holding up his jersey. Canada went on to lose all three of their matches before exiting the World Cup during the group stage, which fans immediately attributed to the “Drake Curse” hitting the North American side.
He’s basically the West’s version of renowned Emirati singer Hussein El Jasmi, who has also been accused of bringing bad luck to everything he sings about after he performed a rendition of Fairuz’s Bahebak Ya Lebnan (I love you Lebanon) just days before the tragic Beirut explosion on Aug. 4, 2020.
The curse started with tennis star Serena Williams in 2015, whom Drake was rooting for and was actually present in the arena when she lost, despite having one of the best years of her career. It then proceeded to hit the Golden State Warriors, who was having the season of their lives. Drake had bet big on them during the NBA playoffs and they were beating Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 in the series before Cleveland bounced back, becoming the only team in NBA’s history to overturn such a deficit.
The “curse” then proceeded to hit boxer Anthony Joshua, who lost all four of his heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz after posting a photo with the Canadian rapper with the caption “About to break the curse.” And, the list goes on.
Today, the “Drake Curse” has become a running Internet joke. A.S. Roma even playfully wrote on Twitter in 2019 that they had banned all of their players from having their pictures taken with the pop star, who has gained the reputation of being a bad luck charm.
Although Argentina went on to win the game, it was a close one. In the second half of the match, Argentina gave up a comfortable 2-0 lead against France after Kylian Mbappe tied the game within less than two-minutes. Lionel Messi managed to put his team back ahead by one goal during extra-time, only for 23-year-old Mbappe to tie the game yet again. It seemed like the “Drake Curse” was in full effect.
But, not for long. Argentina went on to win the 2022 World Cup defeating France 4-2 during a penalty shootout after extra-time to take home the highly-sought-after accolade at the quadrennial football tournament, begging the question: Has the “Drake Curse” finally been lifted?
Technically, the Toronto Raptors seemingly broke the curse in 2019 when they became the first Canadian Franchise to win the NBA championship. However, the supposed curse has made its return since, with the rapper losing millions of dollars on UFC and football bets alike including in October when FC Barcelona lost the El Clásico after the rapper bet on them to beat Real Madrid.
Whether the “Drake Curse” is real or not, it certainly makes for a fun story and plenty of entertainment. And, if it’s true that it has officially been lifted, we can definitely thank Messi for that. The Rosario-born athlete clinched the prestigious World Cup for the first time, winning the adidas Golden Ball and cementing his GOAT status, while debunking one of the Internet’s longest-standing superstitions in the process. As one Twitter user, @LAxFLAME, so eloquently put it: “Messi beat the Drake curse, he really is the greatest of all time.”