WATCH: Zinedine Zidane explains to Lionel Messi why he wore number 5 at Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s biggest star currently is wearing the number 5 shirt, and it is all thanks to Zinedine Zidane. Not only did Zidane meet with Jude Bellingham to recommend he sign for Real Madrid at the Champions League final in 2022, but the fact the Frenchman, who was Bellingham’s idol, wore that shirt inspired Bellingham to do the same. Why exactly did Zidane wear it though?

“It was weird to see another 10 wearing number 5,” Lionel Messi commented to Zidane at a recent sponsor event for Adidas. “You made the 5 important.”

Having told Messi just how good he thought the Argentine was, Zidane proceeded to explain why he wore it.

“A central midfielder with the 5, a bit strange no? But you know what happened with that, he doesn’t like a player wearing 25 or 30 at all. 35… No, he was from a different era, from the old times when it was 1 to 11 and that was it.”

“So Sanchis, he left his shirt, a defender who was at Real Madrid, and the President said to me, ‘no, no, I would like you to take a number between 1 and 10,’ and I said to him, ‘yes, yes, I’ll take the 5.”

“Because he didn’t want me to have 25 or 30, and he said to me ‘that’s not football, that’s American football.”

“In the end it wasn’t much of a choice,” Messi chuckled.

“He said to me ‘please’, and I thought, it’s the first day, I’m going to say yes.”

“But in the end, the 5 for me, it’s a strong feeling, because it’s history for me, you know.”

Bellingham commented in the summer on his arrival that he wanted to wear the 5 because he had grown up watching Zidane on YouTube, but was clear that he wanted to create his own story with the shirt and make it his too. Now it is one of the most cherished in Real Madrid history.

Tags Barcelona Florentino Perez Jude Bellingham Lionel Messi Real Madrid Zinedine Zidane
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