We’re all a bit obsessed about shirt numbers.
It’s innate within football fans.
Remember when Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner took the number two? Or when midfielder Jonathan De Guzman took the number one?
So there was naturally plenty of interest about what number Philippe Coutinho would wear at Barcelona following his move from Liverpool.
Early reports of the Brazilian taking Arda Turan’s number seven proved wide of the mark, leaving 24 as the only free number in the squad.
La Liga rules dictate that first-team player must wear between one and 25, while reserve players stepping up to the senior side wear between 26 and 50.
But Javier Mascherano’s imminent move to the Chinese Super League vacated the number 14, which Coutinho will inherit.
Now the number 14 is iconic for one player and one player only- Johan Cruyff.
The Dutch master dazzled wearing 14, which seemed to provide a romantic backdrop to Coutinho’s new squad number.
However, despite some confusion, Cruyff actually wore the number nine during his five years as a Barcelona player.
League rules meant starters had to wear one to 11, so Cruyff didn’t wear his iconic number at the Nou Camp.
Neither did he wear the number 14 at Feyenoord.
However the Barcelona link to Cruyff’s number 14 isn’t completely non-existent.
Cruyff’s son Jordi wore the number between 1994 and 1996 before it was taken by Nigerian winger Emmanuel Amunike.
The number was also worn by Thierry Henry, who won two La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his time at Barcelona.
No pressure, Phil.
READ MORE COUTINHO NEWS:
- Seeing Coutinho in classic Barcelona kits is strangely satisfying
- Did you notice the Coutinho announcement blunder?
- Five fantasy football alternatives to Coutinho