What is the 'Drake curse'?

Drake is backing Arsenal against Leeds
Drake is backing Arsenal against Leeds / Cole Burston / Contributor/ David Price / Contributor | Getty Images

While Arsenal have made an undeniably brilliant start to the Premier League season, there is one ominous and lingering threat could derail their excellent form. And no, it's not Erling Haaland.

Instead, fans of the Gunners have been nervously waiting for their side's trip to Leeds on Sunday after seeing Canadian rapper Drake involve them in his betting slip. It is only a superstition, but there is an alarming track record of poor performances after Drake gets involved.

Here's what you need to know about the curse and whether you should be worried.

What is the 'Drake curse'?

The 'Drake curse' is an internet sensation which comes about when a sports team or athlete has a poor result in their next match after an interaction with Canadian rapper Drake. It usually involves Drake posing for a picture alongside the people in question.

One of the earliest examples came in March 2019, when Paul Pogba was snapped alongside the musician. Only four days later, Manchester United were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves.

Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa posed alongside Drake before his side was thrashed 5-1 by Lille, the club's heaviest league defeat in 19 years. The curse isn't limited to football, either - UFC fighter Conor McGregor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov after being seen with Drake.

Drake himself is a massive Toronto Raptors fan. In 2013, he was made their global ambassador but they soon gained a reputation for choking in big games.

Notable 'Drake curse' victims

Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho and Drake met during the musician's tour of the United Kingdom, but things ended badly for the then Borussia Dortmund forward.

The very next day, Dortmund were thumped 5-0 by rivals Bayern Munich.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was snapped alongside Drake at a concert in London, but a day later the Gabon striker misfired for Arsenal in their 1-0 defeat to Everton.

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero had an absolute mare after encountering Drake, having a penalty saved in Manchester City's 1-0 defeat at Tottenham in the Champions League in 2019. City couldn't overturn that deficit and exited on away goals in dramatic fashion.

Drake's bet on Arsenal and Barcelona

Drake is known for making large bets on sporting events and most recently put down £537,000 on both Arsenal and Barcelona to win their league games this weekend.

The Gunners travel to face Leeds before Barça take on Real Madrid in El Clasico at the Bernabeu and Drake would rake in £2.5m if both are triumphant on Sunday.

While he won £3m by backing UFC fighters Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann, the Canadian was also left with a £368k hole in his pocket when Kamaru Usman was knocked out by Leon Edwards.

Has anyone beaten the 'Drake curse'?

The epidemic of the 'Drake curse' has thankfully slowed up in recent years. Alphonso Davies and Bayern Munich weren't affected after an interaction in October 2021, while Tyson Fury also dismissed the curse by beating Deontay Wilder after receiving Drake's support.

Drake also backed Argentina to beat France in the 2022 World Cup. While the Albiceleste did end up winning on penalties, Drake had put $1m on the South Americans to triumph in normal time.