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Zinedine Zidane reveals the story behind his iconic number 5 jersey at Real Madrid

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French football legend Zinedine Zidane has unveiled the intriguing story behind his decision to don the iconic number 5 jersey during his tenure at Real Madrid.

Zidane left an indelible mark at Real Madrid, not only for his mesmerizing skills on the field but also for his unconventional choice of wearing the number 5 jersey, typically reserved for defenders.

His Real Madrid journey began in 2001 when he made the switch from Italian giants Juventus. He went on to spend five glorious years with Los Blancos, ultimately retiring from professional football after the 2006 World Cup.

During his time as a player, he helped Real Madrid secure numerous trophies, before returning as a manager and guiding the team to three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018.

What sets Zidane apart is his choice of the number 5 jersey, a number typically associated with central defenders. Prior to his stint with Real Madrid, Zidane had worn the number 21 at Juventus. In a recent conversation with Lionel Messi on Adidas Football, Zidane unveiled the intriguing story behind this unusual jersey number selection.

“It was weird to see another 10 wearing number 5,” the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner said.

Zidane revealed that it was President Florentino Perez who influenced his decision to embrace the number 5 jersey at Real Madrid.

“Florentino Perez, the president, didn’t like the players wearing the numbers 25, 30, 35. He was from the old school. The number 1 for the goalkeeper and then up to number 10,” Zidane said.


“(Manolo) Sanchis had number 5 for Madrid, he left, and when I got there, the president told me ‘wouldn’t you like to have a number from 1 to 10?’ and we picked the number 5 because he didn’t want the 25, 30, 35, this is not football, it is American football, so in the end, I got number 5.”

Since Zidane’s retirement in 2006, the number 5 jersey has been donned by several players, including the 2006 Ballon d’Or winner Fabio Cannavaro. Currently, it is proudly worn by English midfielder Jude Bellingham who is already enjoying his early days at the club with 13 goals after 14 games in te ongoing season.

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