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50: A Hazard-ous number

Sunday saw Eden Hazard make his first appearance with a Real Madrid badge on his shirt, but for many of us, it’s what’s on the back of the shirt that matters most.

There has been a fair amount of speculation over what number the Belgian will wear for Los Blancos this season, with rumours circulating that he would snatch the number 7 from Mariano Díaz.

As it turns out, that was a hoax played by a visitor to the club’s megastore, and his official squad number still hasn’t been announced by the club.

Eyes were peeled as Hazard walked out with his new teammates, and it was revealed that he would wear the number 50 for the game against FC Bayern Munich. Yes – FIFTY.

Why did Eden Hazard wear number 50 on his debut?

50 is an unusually high number for a first team player, however there was actually some thought placed into the decision rather than chucking on the first shirt that came out of the spares bin. Hazard actually chose the number 50 to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing.

The fixture fell on the same week as the anniversary of the historic event, though it’s unclear if Hazard will continue to wear number 50 for the remainder of their preseason tour. They come up against neighbours Atlético on Sunday, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Will Hazard wear 50 for Real Madrid this season?

Eden Hazard won’t be able to wear the number 50 this season apart from in preseason games.

This is because in La Liga, players in the first team (up to 25 players) must wear a number between 1 and 25, with goalkeepers being forced to wear either 1, 13 or 25. When players from the reserve/youth teams are selected to play for the first team, they are allocated squad numbers between 26 and 50.

This means that Hazard will have to wear a number between 1 and 25 (with the exception of the goalkeeper numbers).

What number could Eden Hazard wear for Real Madrid this season?

There are not that many available squad numbers available for Eden Hazard at Real Madrid, and the ones that are available aren’t numbers that the forward has worn before.

Currently, the only vacant numbers he can choose from are 16, 18, and 23. Rumours have stemmed claiming he will opt for the number 23 due to it being a popular number across a variety of sports, however there is no definitive evidence to back this up.

There is of course the strong possibility that some Madrid players will leave before the player registration deadline, so this could free up a more preferable squad number for Hazard. However, he will have to compete with the other new signings for the pick of the bunch – new boys Rodrygo, Luka Jović, Ferland Mendy and Éder Militão will all be vying for a strong squad number at the Bernabeu. James Rodríguez is now back from his loan spell at Bayern and also without a squad number (after losing his number 10), but will likely be sold anyway.

It’s almost guaranteed that he won’t get his favoured number 10 after Luka Modrić reportedly shut down any possibility of him giving it up.

Hazard said “For me, the number is not important, but to play with this shirt, with this badge.” We disagree.

The number 17 (which Hazard wore at the start of his Chelsea tenure) is currently worn by Lucas Vázquez. The forward has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the past month, so if that materialised we’d expect to see Hazard donning number 17 once again.

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50: A Hazard-ous number