Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed that Zinedine Zidane was his favourite footballer when growing up, citing the Frenchman as the reason why he wears the number five shirt.
The Dutchman has held this number at both Newcastle United and Liverpool, revealing on Instagram (via FourFourTwo) that his inspiration comes from the Real Madrid manager.
He stated: “No.5 is a really special number for me. It was my lucky number when I was young but also because my favourite player, Zinedine Zidane, was playing with No.5.”
It’s clearly a number that means a lot to the midfielder, who feels privileged to replicate his role model: “I was really happy that I could start my professional career as number five. Since then I’ve played with No.5 at Newcastle and when I came to Liverpool, the club basically kept No.5 for me. I was really happy with that.”
The Dutchman will evidently not been changing number anytime soon, with the Reds even making sure that the jersey was available for him.
Since arriving to Merseyside back in 2016, Wijnaldum has certainly repaid his club’s faith in him. Under Jurgen Klopp, the midfielder has taken his game up a level, playing a key role in the side winning their sixth Champions League last season.
Operating in a midfield three, the Dutchman acts as the team’s engine, picking up praise for his hard-working and industrious attitude. He is one of the first names on his manager’s team sheet, with many fans regarding him as one of the side’s most important figures.
His style is no doubt different to Zidane, but he certainly lives up to the pressure that his shirt number holds.