Hicham Zerouali – Four Four Two Website
CAIRO – 7 July 2017: In the football world each position has certain numbers that players can pick from. For example, we do not normally see a player who is a defender and wears a number 10 shirt.
The first number that is out of position is the number 0, picked by Morrocan player Hicham Zerouali during his time at Aberdeen. Zerouali was nicknamed as “The Moroccan Magic” and “Zero.” He had a great career at Aberdeen, where he scored 11 goals in 37 matches. After wearing the number 0 for three years, the Scottish Football Association banned the number 0, and “Zero” had to pick another number.
It is something rare that a player is seen wearing the number 2 shirt. Ossi Ardiles, who played as a player for Tottenham Hotspur, wore the number 2 shirt with Argentina. The reason behind it was that there was a big dispute over the player numbers in the Argentinean camp ahead of the 1978 World Cup, so the Argentinean coach at the time, Cesar Menotti, decided to pick numbers in alphabetical order by the players’ last names, which explained why Norberto Alonso was handed the number 1 shirt while Ardiles wore the number 2 shirt.
Famous Dutch player Edgar Davids was a player-manager during his time at Barnet. Davids announced that he would take number 1 from goalkeeper Graham Stack and would play with it for the rest of the season.
William Gallas, Arsenal’s former defender, surprised football fans by choosing to wear the number 10 shirt. It was an unusual announcement that a defender would wear a number that is worn by offensive players. The decision to wear number 10 was seen as an easy way out. This was due to having no numbers available except number 3, which Gallas did not like, and 10, which was left after the departure of Bergkamp from the team. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger thought that if a defender wore the number 10 it would make the strikers more comfortable.
Player numbers can cause huge conflicts within the club. For example, Paolo Future was handed the number 16 shirt while playing for West Ham and he got into a fight with the assistant coach at the time, claiming he wears 10, not 16. He tried to enter into negotiations with the club and his time at West Ham did not last along due to several reasons, one of which was due to his conflict over the number 10.