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Fiorentina Newcomers Choose Squad Numbers

Sportiello and Saponara both have their numbers, and one of them is a bit, er, squiffy.

ACF Fiorentina v Genoa CFC - Serie A
Hey Marco, what’s a sensible number for a goalkeeper?
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

The two additions to Fiorentina’s first team have chosen their numbers for the remainder of the season.

Marco Sportiello - 57.

The Lombard opts to keep the number he’d worn during his time as Atalanta’s first choice ‘keeper. When asked about the unusual choice in an interview with the Corriere della Sera, Sportiello said that the number had a personal significance he’d rather not share. Sportiello is Fiorentina’s first 57 for at least the last 25 years, and quite possibly the first ever.

Riccardo Saponara - 21.

As 8, 10, and 5, the numbers he’d worn at Milan and during his two stints with fellow Tuscans Empoli, are all occupied by Vecino, Bernardeschi, and Badelj respectively, Ricky opts for 21, possibly as his birthday is the 21st of December, though that’s entirely conjecture on my part. Since the departure of fan favourite Tomas Ujfalusi in 2008, the number 21 has changed owner every season. During that time the number’s most notable owners have been Gianluca Comotto Andrea Lazzari, and Massimo Ambrosini, which is yeah, not great.