Zinedine Zidane reveals why he picked the No 5 shirt at Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane reveals why he picked the No 5 shirt at Real Madrid before Jude Bellingham followed in his footsteps by taking the number… as he opens up on his career during interview with Lionel Messi

  • The 2001 decision was overseen by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez 
  • Bellingham previously joked that ‘there weren’t many numbers left’ when joining 
  • Why we should get excited about Cole Palmer – Listen here to It’s All Coming Up 

Zinedine Zidane has finally revealed why he opted to don the No 5 jersey during his decorated run at Real Madrid. 

The World Cup winner with France joined the Spanish giants from Juventus in 2001 and held a starring role at the club for the remaining five years of his playing career. 

But such was the midfielder tie to Los Blancos that he opted to begin his coaching journey at the Bernabeu in 2013, joining then-Madrid coach Jose Mourinho as an assistant. 

Zidane’s spell at the helm of the club between 2016 and 2018, and a second stint between 2019 and 2021, saw Real Madrid enjoy a period of dominance that yielded two LaLiga triumphs, two Supercopa trophies and an impressive three Champions League titles. 

But for a true No 10, the 51-year-old’s choice of shirt number was an eyebrow-raising one, and something queried by Lionel Messi during a conversation between the two icons for Adidas. 

Zinedine Zidane enjoyed three decorated spells at Real Madrid as both player and manager

The World Cup winner’s time with Los Blancos is inextricably linked with the No 5 jersey

Zidane discussed the origins of his choice of jersey number with Lionel Messi and Adidas

Your browser does not support iframes.

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

‘(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.’ 

With the decision, Zidane established a legacy for the number – and one that might weigh heavily on those who inherit it. 

But Jude Bellingham, who has sported the jersey since his June transfer from Borussia Dortmund, has had no such hang-ups. 


This season, the mantle of the No 5 jersey has been taken up by new signing Jude Bellingham

The England international has been at the height of his powers for his new club, scoring 13 in his first 14 games

The England starlet has been in the form of his life since his £113million move to Madrid, and notched up an astonishing 13 goals in his first 14 appearances.

By contrast, during Zidane’s debut season at the club, the France international scored 12 goals across all competitions. 

When asked if he had chosen the No 5 jersey to pay tribute to Zidane during this year’s Ballon d’Or Ceremony – which saw the 20-year-old claim the Kopa Trophy – Bellingham couldn’t resist a little joke. 

‘There wasn’t much else left!’ Bellingham shared, but adding: ‘It adds a little bit of pressure but I wanted to pay homage to one of my idols.’ 


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

Your browser does not support iframes.

Source: Read Full Article