“If you are lifting something heavy, you count to three before you lift. If you want to warn someone, you warn them once, then twice, and the third time you take action.”
The former captain of the Ghanian national football team, Asamoah Gyan, didn’t object or fight anyone when he was handed the number three jersey. Instead, his logical explanation and clear preference for a number came as a shock to many.
For a forward to be given, the number three is unnatural and almost unheard of. Nevertheless, Gyan pulled it off and made an illustrious career.
In similar news, Manchester City has entrusted their Portuguese full-back, Joao Cancelo with an unusual jersey number, a number that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, and Raul Gonzalez have donned and embodied, a number that strikes fear in the opponent’s heart that a reckoning force of pace and guile is rushing towards them and will make the net ripple when he strikes the ball with his either foot.
But imagining a defender, a fullback with the number seven imprinted on the back of their shirt, is a hard pill to digest. Nevertheless, City’s manager Pep Guardiola has put some thought and handed Cancelo, the coveted number seven, which until now was under the watchful guidance of English forward, Raheem Sterling who is now a Chelsea Blue.
Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, who recently joined the club and are touted as two sublime lethal forwards, were overlooked and handed the number nine and number 19 respectively, while the number seven jersey at Etihad Stadium made his way to an attacking defender.
On hearing the news, the City fans were surprised but didn’t go overboard about voicing their rebellious concerns about this blasphemous act. A fan commented that the Portuguese is more suited to play as a winger and given his immense strength to hit the ball, the people in the stands should fear for their life.
Cancelo’s attacking prowess is known to all. It’s no secret that since he arrived in 2019, he has been one of Pep’s most preferred players, and even though such a drastic shift from jersey number 27 to seven was unexpected, it has clearly stated the trajectory of Cancelo’s growth under the Spanish manager.
But before we put Cancelo on a spike, the player also has a sentimental value attached to the number seven. Cancelo has reportedly mentioned that her mother, who passed away nine years ago, has her birthday on the seventh and preferred this number over others.
Even though number seven will be traditionally reserved for the forwards, there is little you can do when someone brings emotions to the table. After all, the beautiful game, as it is called, is nothing but a roller coaster of shifting emotions.
For now, the Cityzens have a new number seven and another chance to fight for the UEFA Champions League.