Real Madrid defender David Alaba has revealed he didn’t want the club’s number four shirt, vacated by Bernabeu legend Sergio Ramos, when he completed a free transfer from Bayern Munich.
Ramos wore the number four shirt throughout his 16 years at Real, winning five La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues. Prior to that, it belonged to another legend in Fernando Hierro.
Alaba is the latest player to inherit the shirt for Real. He is not burdened by the pressure of such an esteemed jersey but has admitted he would have chosen a different number if he could.
The Austrian ideally wanted to keep the same number 27 shirt he had previously worn for a decade at Bayern on the logic that he refuses to be compared to anyone else by taking over their shirt.
“The number 27 was the one I worse at Bayern, it’s not allowed in La Liga and the club wanted me to wear number four,” Alaba explained to Sport Bild.
“Sergio Ramos is an absolute legend. His performances on and off the pitch make him a role model. But I am Alaba and I don’t want to be compared to anyone. I want to write my own story here.”
La Liga rules prohibited Alaba from taking 27 at Real. First-team squads in Spain’s top flight must only include shirt numbers from 1-25, with one, 13 and 25 reserved for goalkeepers only.
Shirts higher than 25 can be worn, but only by players promoted from a club’s B team during the season, not by permanent members of the first-team squad.
As such, Real’s number 27 shirt is currently registered to 21-year-old Castilla midfielder Antonio Blanco, who splits his time between senior and reserve team levels.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!