Top Footballers Who Played With Numbers Other Than Their Favorite

More than numbers: after whom do footballers get their numbers and why?

The end of January and the beginning of February of this year will be remembered by many sports fans as the days when every day there was more and more sad news about the forward Emiliano Sala . On January 19, the Argentine moved to Cardiff City, but returned to Nantes to say goodbye to his teammates, a disaster struck during the return flight. The wreckage of the plane was found at the bottom of the English Channel only two weeks later. It would seem that the sad story should have ended on this, but it is not. Proceedings are still ongoing between the teams due to the fact that the British refuse to pay for the player's transfer.

The clubs could not come to an agreement on their own, so FIFA is in charge. In addition, recently it became known about the death of the football player's father. The only thing that somehow brightens up this story - Nantes brought out the number under which the Argentine played in memory of the player. We decided to tell you how football players choose their game numbers, and why they are being removed from circulation.

More than numbers

As a rule, a number is removed from circulation to celebrate a player's merits, or in the event of his death, to honor the memory of the athlete, as it happened with Sala. A similar situation, most famous among Russian fans, is the death of Sergei Perkhun . Despite the fact that he played only 13 matches with CSKA, after his death number 16 was withdrawn from circulation. And the fans, at all the remaining matches of the season, stretched out a banner in the form of a T-shirt with the goalkeeper's number and surname in the stands.

An example of how a club celebrates a player's merits - removing from circulation the number under which Paolo Maldini played . The club's management planned to mark the merits of the ex-football player in this way, but he was against it. In the end, the parties agreed that one of the sons of Maldini will receive the number when he plays for the main team. And his youngest son, Daniel, is gradually approaching this while he plays for the Milan U-19 team. In winter, there were even rumors that he would sign a contract with the main team, and most recently the young footballer was called up to the Italy U-18 national team.

After Mathieu Valbuena signed a contract with Dynamo Moscow, Olympique's management from Marseille, where he spent eight years, decided to celebrate his contribution. His number was withdrawn from circulation, but this number meant so much to the Frenchman that he wanted to secure it for himself in the new club, but then a problem arose. When the footballer joined the Muscovites, it turned out that number 28 was occupied by Boris Rotenberg, the son of the club president of those years. Stanislav Cherchesov, who served as head coach, joked that the transfer of the number could be more expensive than the transferera of the footballer himself.

Cherchesov: I don’t know which is more expensive - Valbuena's transfer or number 28 transfer to him

But Valbuena's misadventures did not end there, it turned out that the eight, under which he played in the national team, is occupied by Artur Yusupov. And number 82, a mirror image of his favorite number, is used by Guram Ajoev, the son of the team's sports director. In the end, the Frenchman was allocated number 14, under which he later played for the Moscow club. Marseille highly appreciated Valbuena's contribution, but this did not prevent him from moving to the camp of his principal rivals - Lyon. Which naturally caused a negative reaction from the fans.

Marseille fans brought a figure of the hanged Valbuen to the game with Lyon

Many teams also display numbers to thank the fans for their support. Someone uses number 1 for this to show that no one is more important than the fans, but the most common story is that clubs use the number 12. There is even a beautiful, but very similar to a fairy tale story that the team had no one to replace a large number of injured athletes , and then they resorted to the help of a fan who played at number 12 and even scored the winning goal.

How did it all begin?

For the first time numbers on shirts appeared in England in 1928, on the backs of Chelsea and Arsenal footballers. The teams entered the field for the first time with numbers on their backs on the same day, but in different matches. The original idea of ​​the issue was to designate the role of a football player on the field. The goalkeeper received the one, the defenders - numbers two, three, four, five, the ninth number, as a rule, received the center forward, and the remaining attacking players received the numbers ten and eleven. The other numbers were given to the midfield players. Five years later, the country's football association conducted a match as an experiment, where one team entered the field with numbers from 1 to 11, and the second from 12 to 22. In the end, the first option was adopted, later when the teams had the right to substitution , the substitutes were given numbers starting from 12, but the teams were allowed not to use the number 13.

In the USSR, numbers appeared after a series of friendly matches played by Moscow Dynamo in Great Britain in 1945. The numbers on the uniform appeared already in the 1946 season, along with the minutes of matches, which had not been in the USSR before.

The players received permanent numbers only during the 1954 World Championship in Switzerland. It became necessary for the teams to apply for the entire tournament, where the numbers of all the players were indicated. But at the same time, there was a need to choose numbers in order, starting with one. This continued until the nineties of the twentieth century. All players in the clubs now have permanent numbers, and most importantly, each player could choose any number for himself. At international tournaments, this practice began to be applied since the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

From that moment on, the players had complete freedomAn ode to choice, some seek to get the number under which they performed, and in some cases their idol appears. One of the recent examples is Kylian Mbappé , the Frenchman was number 29, and since this season he has a seven on his back, the footballer himself did not talk about it, but many suspect that the changes are related to Kilian's special attitude to Ronaldo.

As it turned out, the Portuguese started performing at number seven for a reason. He made his choice following the recommendation of the head coach of Manchester United - Alex Ferguson .

Ronaldo: I took the 7th number to Manchester United at the request of Ferguson

As Cristiano himself admitted, the coach's words surprised him greatly, because before him this number was worn by David Beckham, Eric Cantona and Brian Robson . Now the Portuguese seven has become a real brand, which he actively uses, the CR7 logo has become known all over the world, there are collections of underwear, shirts, shoes that are produced under the name of an athlete.

Some players choose the last digits of their year of birth as their number. One example is the Russian footballer Fyodor Smolov , he was born in 1990 and used the corresponding number in Anji, the Urals and Krasnodar. At his current club, Fedor performs with the number nine on his back.

Soccer Positions by Number - Roles and Player Examples

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