Paolo Guerrero, the 'Phenomenon' Ronaldo, Antonio Cassano and other cracks used the '99′. Get to know in this gallery the strangest numbers that have been used in football and the reason behind each peculiar choice of the players.
1/19Cracks that used the '99' and the most unusual numbers in football
2/19 Paolo Guerrero – 99
Paolo Guerrero chose Avaí FC from Brazil as his new team after a long time off the pitch. With the season already started, the '9' that the Peruvian usually wears on his back was not available and he opted for the '99'. His new club explained that the 'Predator' chose that number “in allusion to the 99 years” of foundation that will be fulfilled next September.
3/19 Ronaldo – 99
When Ronaldo signed for AC Milan in January 2007, the number '9' shirt was not free. The owner of it was Filippo Inzaghi. So, the Brazilian crack decided to double that digit and turned his number into '99'. He also wore it at Corinthians in the month of the club's ninety-ninth anniversary.
4/19 Antonio Cassano – 99
When Antonio Cassano signed for Sampdoria in 2007, his number options were no longer available, neither the special '18' he used in the early years of his career, nor the '10' he longed for as a second choice. So, in homage to his friendship with Ronaldo Nazário, the Italian striker decided to copy the Brazilian wearing the '99', which he has since worn on his back until the end of his career.
5/19 Samuel Eto'o – 99
Almost his entire career he had worn the '9' on his back, as a good center forward, but in 2011 he signed for FC Anzhi Majachkalá from Russia and that number was already occupied by the Brazilian Diego Tardelli. So, the Cameroonian, reaffirming his status as '9', opted for '99', a number that he also wore in Sampdoria, precisely to replace Cassano. It should be noted that in the final stage of his career Eto'o used the '81' in honor of his year of birth (1981).
6/19 Vitor Baía
Tired of number 1, Vítor Baía chose for wearing the '99' on his back, something quite unusual, even more so for a goalkeeper. The reason? 1999 was the year in which he returned to Porto, after his time at Barcelona. Since then he wore the '99' until he hung up his boots. He even published his autobiography with that number as the title.
7/19 Gianluigi Donnarumma – 99
Another crack that uses the '99' is none other than Gianluigi Donnarumma for his year of birth (1999). Unfortunately, when he arrived at PSG he could not use that number, since the Ligue 1 regulations only allowed the numbering to be from 1 to 30 in each squad, being '1', '16' and '30' exclusive for goalkeepers. However, now the Italian goalkeeper does have a chance to use that peculiar number again, since the French league recently approved the use of numbers from 1 to 99 on shirts starting this 2022/23 season.
8/19 Ronaldinho – 80
He was so magical that the '10' almost always went to him. However, when Ronaldinho ventured with Milan that number already had an owner: the Dutchman Clarence Seedorf. To avoid problems, the Brazilian opted for a peculiar number: the '80'. The reason? The year of his birth: 1980.
9/19 Ronaldinho – 49
In the same way as with the '80', Ronaldinho decided to wear the '49' on his back while playing for Atlético Mineiro and Querétaro FC. This time the reason was a tribute to his mother, who was born in 1949.
10/19 Andriy Shevchenko – 76< /strong>
The '7' was a symbol for Andriy Shevchenko, but when he returned to AC Milan, after his time at Chelsea, that number already belonged to Alexandre Pato . So, in the same style as Ronaldinho, the Ukrainian decided to wear the '76' on his back for the year of his birth (1976).
11/19 Bixente Lizarazu – 69
To avoid any kind of misunderstanding, Bixente Lizarazu was forced to explain that his choice of the '69' number was due to luck or, rather, cabal, since he was 1.69 m tall, weighed 69 kg and was born in the year 1969.
12/19 Edgar David's – 1
The number one of the field. In the final stage of his career, Edgar Davids took on the challenge of being a player and manager of England's Barnet and, in addition, decided to wear the unusual '1' on his back to create a “trend” with midfielders.
13/19 David Beckham – 23
For David Beckham, the '7' began to be a distinctive mark. With that number, he was the protagonist of glorious stages with Manchester United. However, when he signed for Real Madrid's 'Galacticos', that legendary number already belonged to Raúl, captain and idol of the white club, so the English midfielder had to opt for another number. On the table, Beckham only had two numbers as options: 4 and 23. On the recommendation of his wife, who told him “number 23 did not hurt Michael Jordan”, the former English soccer player opted for that alternative. With the '23' on his back he played his entire stage with Real Madrid and then continued with that number at LA Galaxy. At Milan and PSG he changed to '32'
14/19 Iván Zamorano – 1+ 8
Iván Zamorano was used to wearing the '9' on his back for a long time. Even in his early days with Inter Milan it was also like that. But everything changed when Ronaldo Nazário joined the Italian team. The Chilean legend had to leave that number to the “Fenomenon”, but he was not satisfied with the change. So, using all his creativity, Zamorano was able to keep that special digit for him on his jersey, but in a different way: he asked Inter to wear the number 18, which he cleverly put a plus sign (+) in the middle of so that , whoever saw the shirt, add between 1 and 8.
15/19 Hicham Zerouali – 0
When the numbers are distributed, the count starts from the number 1, but that mattered little to Hicham Zerouali, who chose to use the '0', since he was nicknamed 'zero' (because of his last name). After that, the Scottish league, where he played, prohibited the use of that number and the Moroccan striker could never wear it again.
16/19 Gianluigi Buffon – 88 and 77
Gianluigi Buffon would not have used the '77' if he had not previously opted for the '88'. In his first years of career with Parma, the Italian goalkeeper used this last number for its circular shape that connoted, according to him, twice as many testicles, which his team needed to fight in Serie A. However, 'Gigi ' was accused of being a sympathizer of fascism, since the number was associated with the phrase “Heil Hitler”, since H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. In this context, to avoid controversies, he wore the '77' on his back and it became so fond of him that he used it again at Juventus.
17/19 Derek Riordan – 01
From the start of his career, Derek Riordan was the true 10 for Hibernian FC. But he starred for a few seasons at Celtic FC and, when he returned, that number was no longer available, as it belonged to another teammate. The Scottish striker refused to change his number and altered the order of the digits; that is, he placed the 01 on his back. In the following season he was again the '10', normally, of his team.
18/19 Alexander Arnold – 66
At just 23 years old, Trent Alexander-Arnold is indisputable at Liverpool. Great performances have allowed him to establish himself on the right wing of the 'Reds'. But beyond sports, something that he always called attention to is the number he wears: 66. Now, that number is his distinctive mark in the club, although he does not use it for a personal meaning. It happens that all Liverpool youth players, at the time of debut, are given a high number so that, based on effort, they earn a lower number. “When we receive young guys who come from the Academy, we always deliberately try to give them a high number. We don't like to give them a low number in case they think they got it right away, if you know what I mean,” England team kitman Lee Radcliffe told Liverpoolfc.com. Despite the prominence that Alexander-Arnold currently has with the 'Reds', he has kept the '66' on his back that was given to him when he was a youth. This is what he himself has decided as a way of not forgetting his roots.
AFP19/19 Lionel Messi – 30< strong class="story-gallery__caption-image">/STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
Lionel Messi spent his entire career at Barcelona until 2021. He delighted with his talent in countless occasions with the culés and, being the leader of the team, only he could use the '10'. However, when he signed for PSG, he could no longer continue with that number. Neymar, his friend, was the owner of the most representative number. Messi didn't have any problems and, remembering his first steps at the Camp Nou, he chose to wear the '30' on the back of his new shirt again. In fact, that number accompanied the Argentine star in his first two seasons with Barça, then he started using Barça's '19' in the 2006/07 campaign and, from 2008/09, he inherited the prestigious '10' . It should be noted that, according to the regulations in France, the '30' was exclusive to goalkeepers, but that exception was made due to the arrival of Messi. Now, with the new changes, he can use that number without any problem.