Jude Bellingham’s surprising decision to adopt the iconic No. 5 jersey at Real Madrid marked a significant shift from his usual No. 22. In June, Bellingham, expressing admiration for Zinedine Zidane, clarified that he wasn’t emulating Zidane but paying homage to his greatness.
The England international considered it an honor to follow in Zidane’s footsteps, emphasizing the respect he gained from their interactions.
Reports later suggested Bellingham initially wanted No. 22 but had to relinquish it due to existing squad numbers. In a recent conversation with Lionel Messi, Zidane shared an intriguing insight into Florentino Perez’s preference for certain numbers, revealing his own affinity for the No. 5 jersey.
Zidane recalled the president’s traditional stance against high numbers like 25 or 30, opting for a more classic range from one to ten. Bellingham’s choice of the No. 5 jersey was described as a homage, though the clarity on whether it was his first preference remains uncertain.