If you need any further evidence that AC Milan's No.9 shirt is cursed, look no further than Krzysztof Piatek's recent departure from the San Siro.
The Polish striker signed for the Rossoneri in a £30 million move from Genoa just over a year ago and while he started well by becoming the fastest player to score six goals for the club, things soon fizzled out.
Having been handed the No.9 at the start of the 2019/20 campaign, Piatek scored just five times in 20 games and has now been offloaded to German outfit Hertha Berlin for a reported €27 million fee.
"He wanted the number 9 jersey but we think it [AC Milan's no.9 shirt] has to be earned so we decided to give him the number 19 jersey instead."- FourFourTweet (@FourFourTweet) January 24, 2019
- Leonardo on Krzysztof Piątek pic.twitter.com/wzGhyevXtB
And his underwhelming stint as a Milan player continues the worrying trend of those who have worn such an iconic number in the red and black stripes.
Ballon d'Or winners George Weah and Marco van Basten both wore the #9 with distinction in the glory days but since Pippo Inzaghi retired in 2012, it's all been downhill.
Alexandre Pato switched from No.7 to No.9 when Inzaghi called it a day, but only managed two goals in seven games wearing the esteemed jersey before he returned to his native Brazil with Corinthians in 2013.
Then came Alessandro Matri, who scored once in 18 games after arriving from Juventus, while Fernando Torres also found the net just once in the ten times he featured wearing the same number he wore for both Liverpool and Chelsea.
Mattia Destro's loan from Roma comprised of him scoring just three times in 15 games, with Brazilian Luiz Adriano experiencing a similar rut in front of goal.
The former Shakhtar man scored four times in 26 appearances in the 2016/17 season and even a switch to No.7 the following season couldn't improve his fortunes. He is now back home in Brazil with Palmeiras.
Gianluca Lapadula hit eight goals in 29 games before he was moved on to Genoa, with Milan acquiring Andre Silva in a €38 million deal.
The Portuguese scored 10 in 40 games in 2017/18 and while still a Milan player, he's been loaned out to Sevilla and Eintracht Frankfurt.
One might have thought Gonzalo Higuain had the capacity to end the curse given he'd scored goals wherever he'd been but it wasn't to be.
The Argentine scored eight goals in 22 games and ended up making his way to the Premier League with Chelsea for a brief spell.
He's since returned to the fold with Juventus, where he has eight goals in 27 games this term.
And then of course there's Piatek, who is the latest to struggle with the pressures of wearing the No.9 and leading the attack at Milan.
Filippo Inzaghi was AC Milan's No.9 from 2001 to 2012. Since then they have had nine No. 9s- SportsObama.com (@SportsObama) January 30, 2020
who was the worst? pic.twitter.com/pktqE45sVL
Since Inzaghi retired, no AC Milan has worn No.9 for longer than a single season. We await to see who will be the next to get the number and if they are able to buck the trend.
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