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Considering Fiorentina’s shirt numbers

Some good choices, yeah, but also some real head-scratchers this year.

Torino FC v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Everyone knows that the most important thing in the world for a professional soccer player is the shirt number, because it demonstrates so much about a guy’s psychology. From Rubén Oliveira’s bizarre year as Fiorentina’s 10 to Giuseppe Rossi’s inexplicable 49 to Bartłomiej Drągowski’s doofy 69, we’ve seem some odd choices in Florence. This season’s players have definitely kept that weirdness going.

As a gentle reminder, my opinions on this subject are correct and final. Any disagreements are simply evidence that you are wrong, and I request that you take a moment to think about what led you to such a place in your life. Anyways, let’s get onto some shirt numbers, shall we?

1. Pietro Terracciano: The World’s Funnest Dad has worn this since 2019 and it’s the correct choice.

2. Dodô: Part of why I immediately took to him was that he selected the correct shirt for a rightback last year.

3. Cristiano Biraghi: He’s worn it since arriving at Fiorentina in 2017 and it’s the right choice, as 3 is a great number for a leftback.

4. Nikola Milenković: Another great pick, as 4 is just right for a big, punishing centerback.

5. Giacomo Bonaventura: I’ve always been a little leery of this one, as 5 is usually a central defender or a defensive destroyer, but Jack’s been partial to it since his AC Milan days, so I guess I can allow it, albeit grudgingly.

6. Arthur Melo: The first new entry on this list, Arthur’s made an excellent decision here. 6 is a classic shirt for a deep-lying midfielder. It’s also been vacant since the 2020-2021 season, when Borja Valero was its occupant. Well done, Arthur.

7. Riccardo Sottil: After sporting 33 for the past couple years, Ricky’s gone for a starter’s number and gotten it spot on. 7 is perfect for a speedy, tricky winger who hugs the touchline. As if I couldn’t love him more, he’s gone and shown that his sense of aesthetics isn’t just reflected in his gorgeous face, but also in his approach to life. It fits him a damn sight better than it ever fit Luka Jović, at the very least.

8. Maxime Lopez: We haven’t seen the deadline day signing yet, but he’s off to a flying start as far as I’m concerned. 8 is perfect for a scheming little midfielder and matches up exactly to the position he’ll likely play. Thank goodness he took it off Jović, who’s simply not an 8.

9. Lucas Beltrán: It’s obviously a big deal for anyone to take Batistuta’s holy 9 shirt, but it’s even bigger for an Argentine. Props to el Vikingo for taking on that kind of responsibility.

10. Nicolás González: I love this. The 10 is traditionally a central player, but Nico’s clearly Fiorentina’s best attacker and greatest inspiration. 22 was solid for him, but him picking the 10 shirt indicates that he knows his role within this team, and that it’s to be the best player every game. Love that he’s gone with “Nico” on the back as well. My only pang is that it’s a bit awkward to take it off Gaetano Castrovilli while he’s still on the roster, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.

11. Jonathan Ikoné: Perfect for a tricky, left-footed winger. Glad he’s sticking with it. The real news, of course, is that he’s switching the name on the back to “Jorko,” which is a childhood nickname. #ChaosJonny is at it again.

16. Luca Ranieri: Such a good number for a centerback. Luca continues getting everything right. 16 has a pretty blah history for this team, too (Valentin Eysseric, David Hancko, and Cristian Tello were its 3 most recent bearers), so he has a chance to really make it his own in his second year with it.

17. Gaetano Castrovilli: It’s tough to be summarily ejected from the 10 shirt but at least Tanino’s landed in a good spot. 17 fits for a backup midfielder with a slightly attacking bent, I’d say, and has graced the shoulders of Jordan Veretout, Joaquín, and Papa Waigo this century.

18. M’Bala Nzola: Solid pick for the big man up front, although this feels more like a midfielder’s shirt in Florence. Lucas Torreira was the last to wear it, with Riccardo Saponara, Rachid Ghezzal, Carlos Salcedo, and Mario Suárez before him. I always associate with Riccardo Montolivo, so maybe that’s why. Anyways, well done by Nzola. Nothing weird or flashy. Just a good, hardworking number.

19. Gino Infantino: Solid for a backup midfielder with no real defined role yet. My only concern is that a lot of promising young attackers have worn this in recent years—Kevin Agudelo, Tòfol Montiel, Jaime Báez—and flamed out. On the other hand, 19 was the number of the immortal Massimo Gobbi, so you know I’m all for it.

26. Yerry Mina: Slightly odd choice with several lower ones available but it’s fine. He’s been partial to 26 for years, dating back his breakthrough with Independiente Santa Fe. He’s also been fond of 13, so 26 (13x2) makes a lot of sense for him. It’s just fine.

27. Abdelhamid Sabiri: Bad news for Sabiri fans, as 27 is slightly cursed for Fiorentina. Tello had it for a year and is probably the most successful guy to use it. But Szymon Żurkowski, Antonio Barreca, Nicky Beloko, Martin Graiciar, Simone Lo Faso, Andrés Schetino, Fabio Maistro, Gilberto, Marko Bakić, Rafał Wolski...well, if I hadn’t been worried about Sabiri before, I am now.

28. Lucas Martínez Quarta: He’s sticking with it for a second straight year, which is okay.

30. Tomasso Martinelli: Sneaky good choice from Bagno a Ripoli boy who could be the club’s long-term goalkeeper. Paying homage to Luca Toni is a good way to make friends. Also showed the intelligence to switch from 50, which he had last year. He’s on the right track.

32. Alfred Duncan: He’s always had a thing for 32, and while I wouldn’t mind him picking something lower, it’s perfectly fine. At least he’s not doing 88, like he did his first season in Florence.

33. Michael Kayode: Pretty good pick from the young man. Sottil had it last year, and weirdly enough, it’s been most popular with goalkeepers before that (Federico Brancolini, Simone Ghidotti, Luigi Sepe, Andrea Seculin, Marcão, Nicolò Manfredini, Giuseppe Taglialatela), although most fans remember Mario Gómez more than anything. Excited to see Wile E. Kayode put his own stamp on it.

37. Pietro Comuzzo: Probably didn’t want to take anything lower, showing the humility befitting of a teenager taking his first steps into the professional game. As a bonus, it makes me love him instantly; the last guy to wear 37 for Fiorntina was none other than Andy Bangu in 2014-2015.

38. Rolando Mandragora: Here’s where we start entering weirdo territory. The Mandrake’s been wearing 38 since 2014. I assume it’s some sort of numerological blasphemy.

53. Oliver Christensen: As far as I know, he’s the only guy in Fiorentina history to wear 53. He’s had 1, 16, 27, and 32 previously, so I guess those weren’t options, but 53? What kind of psycho is this guy?

65: Fabiano Parisi: Another number that’s never been seen in Florence before. At least there’s a bit of precedent, as he had 65 at Empoli too, but someone needs to put an arm around his shoulder and have a quiet word in his ear. 65. Good gracious.

70: Niccolò Pierozzi: Oh, son. No. No, no, no.

72. Antonín Barák: I guess he just really likes 72. To repeat myself from this exercise last year, it’s not a bad pick for a tall, elegant, technically gifted yet enigmatic Central European playmaker, but I still just don’t quite get it.

73. Lorenzo Amatucci: This is likely the result of a hazing ritual in which young players have to wear really bad numbers when they break through. He’ll shake it off.

77. Josip Brekalo: With 7 unavailable, he could’ve done what he did at past stops and picked a multiple of 7, with 14 and 21 both right there. 77 is eccentric, but it’s also a real concern, given the other luminaries who’ve rocked these digits. Take a deep breath. Okay, it’s José Callejón, Cyril Thereau, Mounir El Hamdaoui, and Oleksandr Yakovenko. That’s not the crowd any Viola supporter wants to associate themselves or anyone else with.

91. Aleksandr Kokorin: One reason I’m very excited to get to the 2030s is that players will stop wearing numbers in the 80s and 90s because it’s their birth year. Of course Kokorin’s one of those. Of course.

99. Christian Kouamé: Before arriving in Florence, he tried out 18, 16, 20, 19, 27, and 11. None of them really stuck. He went with 99 at Anderlecht on loan and had a great season, then remained faithful when he returned to Florence and I guess it worked. This is him now.