Eden Hazard has requested to wear number 23 on his Real Madrid shirt, as a sign of his love for NBA icons Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
His preferred number 10 is currently being worn by Luka Modric, whilst number seven is also taken up by Mariano Diaz, so after being presented to fans without a number on his shirt, Hazard was forced to come up with another set of digits to wear.
Fortunately, according to Marca, this was not a hard decision for Hazard to make, as he specifically requested to wear the number 23 on his new shirt.
He chose that number due to his love for basketball. 23 has an iconic status in the NBA, largely thanks to Michael Jordan’s rise to prominence with the Chicago Bulls during the 1980s and 1990s.
More recently, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has also worn number 23, including during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in his career.
Back in the football world, Real’s number 23 is synonymous with David Beckham, who enjoyed a number of successful years with 23 on his back between 2003 and 2007. Since then, it has been worn by Isco and Sergio Reguilon, but Hazard is ready to become the next player to sport the number.
He was heavily rumoured to take the number seven shirt but, with Mariano’s determination to stay and fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu, Hazard has opted to choose another number.
With 23 on his back, Hazard will be eager to replicate the success of both Jordan and James during his time with Los Blancos, who will call on Hazard to help them bounce back from a disappointing year last season.