Eden Hazard is unable to wear the No.10 shirt at Real Madrid as it is currently occupied by Luka Modric, so the Belgian has his eye on another number: 23.
In Madrid that shirt is synonymous with David Beckham, but for Hazard it has another meaning.
The forward is an avid basketball fan and, as such, there is no number more prestigious than the No.23. The best player of all time, Michael Jordan, made it famous with the Chicago Bulls, and more recently LeBron James has donned it whilst with the Cleveland Cavaliers and now the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hazard has selected the No.23, and MARCA can confirm that it was no coincidence that the 28-year-old pinpointing this number. Last season, Sergio Reguilon was the player given this shirt.
When Hazard was presented as a Madrid player, it was rumoured that he could wear the No.7, following in the footsteps of legends such as Raymond Kopa, Amancio Amaro, Juanito, Raul Gonzalez and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Mariano Diaz’s adamant stance that he does not want to leave means that he is unwilling to give up this number, particularly as he believes that he may have a place in the 25-man squad.
The last big signing to don the No.23 was Isco, with Mesut Ozil wearing the No.10 upon his arrival, before the Spanish midfielder opted for his number from Malaga, the No.22.
Hazard will be hoping that wearing the No.23 on his back will enable him to replicate some of the success that Jordan and James have shown on the basketball court as he looks to make the number his own in Madrid.