Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has reportedly rejected the club’s offer to don the iconic #7 shirt next season. The Brazilian wears the #20 shirt for Los Blancos.
According to ESPN Brazil, Madrid were willing to hand the #7 jersey to Vinicius, but he declined. He could have followed in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul, Amancio, Raymond Kopa, Juanito and Emilio Butragueno by doing so.
Vinicius arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu from Flamengo in 2018 for €45 million. He wore the #20 with Mengão before donning #25 when he first joined Les Merengues. He went back to #20 in 2020.
The Brazilian explained why he decided to change shirt numbers, saying that it’s his preferred number and has brought him luck in his career (via Real Madrid Unofficial):
“Number 20 has brought me good luck. In Flamengo, I was very happy, and I made my debut wearing number 20. My first games in professional football were with this number, and this season, I had the opportunity to change, and I feel more comfortable.”
If Vinicius had taken the #7 shirt next season, it would likely have meant Eden Hazard’s exit from the club.
The Belgian attacker is Real Madrid‘s current #7, but his future at the Bernabeu is in doubt. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says that the former Chelsea winger is expected to leave in the summer if a good offer comes in.
Real Madrid’s Nacho Fernandez weighing up options as potential departure touted
Real Madrid defender Fernandez is considering his future at the Santiago Bernabeu, with his contract expiring at the end of the season. The 33-year-old is a back-up option for Carlo Ancelotti, starting 20 of 31 games across competitions.
According to Spanish outlet AS, Fernandez has garnered interest from Premier League clubs. Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers have been keeping tabs on the veteran defender.
The Spaniard has said that he’s still to make a decision on his future, telling the aforementioned source:
“I’ve said it many times after every game: I try to live in the present. As I said before, I’m living the best moment of my career. The season started very complicated. I spent a regular moment because I didn’t feel almost important. Now everything has changed. It’s as if the situation has turned around.
“The contract with Madrid is not going to change anything. Every summer I talk to the club. with the coach with my family, and we made the decision. The fact of having a contract or not makes me live very calmly. Now I’m happy here at the club, of course.”