Football squad numbers are not something footy fans should get upset over, and yet there is a section of us who just can't help it.
When the likes of William Gallas are wearing #10 at Arsenal, or striker Asamoah Gyan wears #3, or even Milan Baros rocking a no-nonsense centre-back #5 for Liverpool, then we've got a problem.
But the biggest crime against shirt numbers was committed by former Swansea loanee Jonathan De Guzman as he signed for Chievo:
Jonathan De Guzman, an attacking midfielder, has signed for Chievo in Serie A and will wear #1..
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) September 2, 2016
IT'S NOT RIGHT!
If you feel that way also, then you will like the Ligue de Football Professionnel's rules on shirt numbers, which take a zero tolerance policy on acting the eejit. There'll be no players wearing #87 like you see in Serie A, and there'll be no stealing a goalkeeper's number, but it turns out that Super Mario wasn't even allowed to wear #45 because the rules are so strict.
According to (the rough translation of) LFP rule #670:
Every Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 club must establish the number assignment list on Isyfoot 72 hours before the start of the competition. This list can not exceed 30 names, the number 30 is the last in the list may be supplemented and updated with every movement in the club. If a club justifies employ over 30 professional players under contract, the board may grant an exception to the preceding paragraph. Whimsical dials are prohibited (example: 45 - 82).
The numbers 1, 16 and 30 are exclusively and necessarily reserved for goalkeepers. Ultimately, the number 40 can be assigned. All teams must have a jersey with number 33 that is not assigned to a player and reserved for breaking replacements. A directory is established early in the season and available to referees and delegates by the LFP.
-You can't have more than 30 players on your professional books, and if you do, you need a good reason.
-That limits the available shirt numbers to 30, unless special dispensation is granted (David Luiz wore #32 at PSG).
-#1, #16, and #30 are for goalkeepers only. Sorry Roy Keane...
That's proper order.
Players around Europe are becoming more and more fond of using their birth year for their number, or simply doubling down if they can't use the likes of #7 or #9 by going with #77 or #99, but you can't be at that carry-on in France.
Mario Balotelli had to settle for the #9, and it's gone quite well for him as he bagged the man of the match award on his debut for Nice...
It's just a shame that they allow journalists to interview players on a massage table...
— Sam (@Sam_arbn) September 11, 2016