Jersey numbers in recent decades have gone haywire. We had Milan Baros playing upfront and wearing number 5 for Liverpool. There was William Gallas playing defence for Arsenal while rocking a number 10 jersey.
Honorable mentions to Victor Perales who had number 143, Tommy Oar with 121 for Australia, and Osvaldo Ardilles who spent his career in midfield but played for Argentina in a jersey numbered 1. There have been numerous other mystifying examples.
However, a few players took it even further. In year 2000, Aberdeen’s Moroccan striker, Hicham Zerouaki wore a number Zero on his jersey (because of his surname, geddit?). At the end of the season, the Scottish FA outlawed that number and put an end to such nonsense.
Prior to that, in the 1990s, Finnish midfielder, Mika Lehkouso wore 96.2. Mad stuff. When HJK Helsinki qualified for the Champions League, he was told UEFA only allow numbers between 1 and 99. He dropped 0.2 and sensibly went with 96.
Maybe the most justifiable one is Ivan Zamarano’s. When Ronaldo, he of the phenomenal talent, was given Zamarano’s number 9 jersey at Inter Milan, the Chilean striker was understandably miffed. So he got a jersey numbered 1+8. Because 1+8 = 9, Quick Maths. Ivan’s smart way of telling them, ”you can’t take my shine”. Top lad.