October 24, 2008

Horse 928 - Numb3rs

I have a strange fascination with kit numbers on footbal shirts. Whilst cricket, american football, baseball, the AFL and ice hockey seemingly let their players get away with big numbers on their shirts, the football kit until only very used to take the stance that the first XI was something important. I guess all of this is changing.

The current AC Milan squad has the following

76 Andriy Shevchenko
77 Luca Antonini
80 Ronaldinho
84 Mathieu Flamini

Bear in mind that Ronaldinho also made his debut for AC Milan in the 99 kit. The only reason I can think of is that this must be some sort of marketing thing.

99 Vitor Baia
The Portuguese keeper donned the number 99 shirt for the first time for Porto's European Cup victory in 2004.

88 Gianluigi Buffon
Buffon was accused of being a fascist after requesting the number 88 while at Parma. His critics claimed this was number code for HH or Heil Hitler. The keeper himself claimed the gesture was his numeric tribute to an Italian saying about strong men having four balls.

55 Dominik Werling
There are 17 vacant squad numbers between Barnsley defender Werling and the highest numbered reserve player at Oakwell. And he was wearing a different number on his shorts (19) against West Brom when he took the field that day.

69 Bixente Lizarazu
Although most people assumed the French full-back was a cheeky chappy, he always maintained that he picked his squad number because he was born in 1969, he is 169cm tall and weighs 69kg.

66 Alain Sutter
The Swiss international allegedly let US culture go to his head when he signed for Dallas Burn and picked his shirt number in honour of Route 66.

1 Ossie Ardiles
The Argentine midfielder wore the number 1 shirt at the 1982 World Cup after the squad numbers were allocated by alphabetical order.

1+8 Ivan Zamorano
The Chilean international was forced to give up his number 9 shirt when Ronaldo joined Inter Milan as part of the bouncing Brazilian's sponsorship deal with Nike. Zamorano took the number 18 shirt and insisted on having a plus sign inserted between the two digits.

111 Luisão
The Flamengo player celebrated the club's 111th anniversary in true South American style - by sticking another digit on his shirt!

0 Hicham Zerouali
The Moroccan striker was given permission to wear the number 0 in honour of his nickname (Zero, in case you need that spelling out!) whilst he spent his time at Aberdeen. Thus he is the play to wear the lowest kit number of all time as far as I can make out.

100 Adolfo Bautista
The Mexican striker became the first player to take to the field wearing triple figures while playing for Chivas de Guadalajara.

But the prize surely for the wackiest kit number has to go to...

500 Romario
The crazy Brazilian wore the number 500 shirt while making his 500th appearance for Vasco da Gama, which is really quite silly.

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