Monday 21 May 2018

Numbers game becomes silly if you don't figure

Mata: "I think No 8 is a great number"

Colm Parkinson

So Juan Mata turned down the opportunity to wear the famous No 7 jersey at Manchester United.

Speaking on Monday, he said: "I think No 8 is a great number. I know that seven is an iconic number here and I spoke to David (Moyes) about it, but we decided eight was the number for me."

We don't know Mata's reasons for choosing No 8, but we do know Antonio Valencia gave up the No 7 shirt because of the pressures the iconic number brought with it.

What is the deal with players and the numbers on their jerseys?

In my GAA playing days, most midfielders wanted to wear the No 8 jersey because the more talented midfielder usually wore it.

No 9 was usually reserved for the more awkward, rangy, fetching midfielder.

As for me, I preferred No 7 to No 5 when I played wing-back, despite being predominantly right-footed and also preferred No 10 to No 12. However, at the end of my career, when I started receiving numbers in the 20s and 30s, I quickly realised how silly it all was.

Irish Independent

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