Henry, Ronaldo, Beckham - jerseys with the most iconic numbers are hard to fill

Jersey number numbers can become an extremely precious item. Just ask Birmingham City, who decided to retire their number 22 after Jude Bellingham left for Borussia Dortmund this summer … despite having played just 41 league games with the Blues. It is fair to say that other clubs have jersey numbers that have earned a similar level of respect.

Bayern Munich have just announced that they are entrusting two of their most valued numbers to Serge Gnabry and his brand new signing, striker Leroy Sané.

The pair will wear the shirts with the numbers 7 and 10 respectively, taking over from the duo made up of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, adored by the Bayern fans and who left the German club last summer.

The announcement represents a changing of the guard at the Allianz Arena, specifically by the bands, where Gnabry and Sané will have the responsibility of maintaining a similar level to that of the legends of the powerful Bavarian club.

The couple referred to by many as “Robbery” will be difficult to emulate on the court. If history has taught us anything, it’s that some iconic jerseys are harder to wear than others.

It is frequently mentioned as the heaviest number of all those that can be inherited. It is worth mentioning that United’s number 7 tenants have had mixed results over the years.

Bottom line: for every George Best, we have a Memphis Depay. For every Cristiano Ronaldo, there is a Luis Antonio Valencia. For every David Beckham and Eric Cantona, we can show Angel Di María and Alexis Sánchez.

(* In fact, Best wore United’s No. 11 jersey most often, but you understand what we mean.)

When Cristiano Ronaldo ended his golden decade with Real Madrid in 2018, the choice of his successor to wear his number 7 jersey caused more than one gesture of astonishment and enigma among football fans.

Instead of falling to Gareth Bale, Isco Alarcón or Marco Asensio, the number was conferred on the newly signed Mariano Diaz, who had just returned to the club of his childhood after spending 14 months with Lyon.

Mariano made 13 league appearances, most of them on substitute status. He scored three goals wearing No. 7 before the arrival of Eden Hazard, who received the bib the following summer … and the Belgian-born “Galactico” hasn’t fared much better since then.

Arsenal shirt 14

Needless to say, Henry will forever be an Arsenal legend. The elegant gunner has a strong case for being considered the greatest player in Gunners history, with his No. 14 jersey becoming an emblem of his legacy.

Consequently, and after having worn number 32 during the two previous seasons, it was a very brave gesture on the part of Theo Walcott when he decided to adopt the jersey previously worn by Henry before the start of the 2008-09 campaign, just one year later. that the French left for Barcelona.

It would be irrational to suggest that Walcott (who was just 19 at the time) had disastrous results in his attempts to emulate his predecessor, but it is also worth noting that he never came close to the level of the historic French gunner.

Newcastle number 9

Some great forwards have worn the number 9 in the Toon club, such as Kevin Keegan, Les Ferdinand and Andrew Cole, who wore it in times past.

However, there can only be one man who jumps to memory when we imagine that number on a pitch with men dressed in black and white stripes: Alan Shearer, the club’s and Premier League’s all-time top scorer.

Unfortunately, all the inheritors of the shirt worn by Shearer have been immediately affected by the heavy weight that this jacket carries and the consequent expectations of scoring goals everywhere. Obafemi Martins, Andy Carroll, Papiss Demba Cisse, Dwight Gayle, Venezuelan Salomón Rondón and Joelinton have proved insufficient to satisfy the Newcastle fans’ wishes with varying results.

AC Milan jersey 9

Some of the greatest forwards in football history have had the honor of wearing Milan’s number 9, including not one but two Ballon d’Or winners such as Marco van Basten and George Weah.

The list also includes names such as Patrick Kluivert, Roberto Baggio, Jean-Pierre Papin, Gianluigi Lentini, Gunner Nordahl … among many others.

Sadly, Pippo Inzaghi is perhaps the last great bastion of the prestigious Rossonera jersey, following his retirement in 2012. Since then, no Milan striker has been allowed to wear the number 9 jersey for more than a season.

The jacket has changed hands among nine forwards in the eight years after Inzaghi’s departure: Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Matri, Fernando Torres, Mattia Destro, Luiz Adriano, Gianluca Lapadula, Andre Silva, Gonzalo Higuain and Krzysztof Piatek barely managed to add 42 so many between them.

Perhaps it is appropriate to remember that 26 of those goals were converted between Higuaín, Lapadula and Silva, while the rest of the previously mentioned forwards failed to overcome the barrier of five goals scored. What a misery.

Barcelona’s 10

We could face a similar situation in the coming weeks, when Barça’s 10 jersey becomes vacant for the first time in 13 years.

If Lionel Messi does the unthinkable and ends up departing from his spiritual home of the last two decades, a storm of unpredictable consequences will surely begin, with the number of “La Pulga” and the weight it carries at the epicenter. The heaviest layer among the heaviest.

Rumors have emerged suggesting that Martin Braithwaite is already making attempts to take the 10 from Messi, but we are not sure that a footballer who used to play for Middlesbrough should be allowed to replace the greatest player to ever exist. It just doesn’t seem right.