Fiorentina have released the official list of squad numbers for this upcoming year. While the digits on the back of a players shirts don’t really mean anything anymore, it’s still fun to try and interpret what it all means. So let’s do just that.
1. Pietro Terracciano—The backup goalkeeper takes the starting number. Shows a mature, responsible mindset and a readiness to step in whenever he’s needed. Just the sort of steady, veteran presence we’d hope for.
3. Cristiano Biraghi—No surprise here. CB3 really likes this number.
4. Nikola Milenković—If Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson signed for the Viola and really wanted the 4 shirt, maybe Nihola would give it to him. That’s pretty much the only person in the world who could take it from our Mountain, though.
5. Milan Badelj—Gets his old shirt back from Ceccherini. Would love to know if Cecche freely gave it up or if Badelj had to pay him for it.
6. Luca Ranieri—Love the confidence of a 20-year-old to take the 6 shirt. Indicates a willingness to play in the middle or on the left.
7. Erick Pulgar—This is a winger’s number, not a defensive midfielder’s, so this is a bit troubling. On the other hand, there’s a certain romance associated with a deep-lying Chilean for Fiorentina wearing 7, so we’ll let it slide just this once.
8. Gaetano Castrovilli—Like Ranieri, it’s great to see Castrovilli stake his claim for a starting role in the midfield with THE central midfielder number.
9. Giovanni Simeone—Same as the past two years. Let’s hope that he looks a bit more natural in it this time around.
10. Kevin-Prince Boateng—The Fiorentina 10 is one of the most iconic shirts in soccer history: Giancarlo Antognoni, Rui Costa, Adrian Mutu, and a host of others hand it a gravity that matches just about anyone. On the other hand, the recent run of Marko Pjaca and Eysseric, to say nothing of el Tanque Silva and Ruben Olivera, show that it needs some love. KPB has the personality and the fantasia to, at the very least, not shame it.
11. Riccardo Sottil—After a brilliant preseason in which he seized a spot on the left wing and saw off all comers, it’s only fitting for the 20-year-old to get the classic left wing number. The only caveat is that a big-money signing could come through and swipe it from him.
14. Bryan Dabo—Solid squad number for a solid player. Good to see that he’s sticking with the number he’s worn at various stops in his career.
15. Sebastian Cristoforo—Bit surprising, given that the 18 he’s previously worn remains unclaimed, but perhaps emblematic of his desire to make a fresh start in Florence. Also wore 15 on loan with Getafe last year.
16. Valentin Eysseric—Took the 10 shirt when he arrived, then switched to 7 last year, and now all the way back to 16, which feels a bit strange as an attacker’s number. This will be the first time he’s ever worn it.
17. Federico Ceccherini—While he may be a bit bummed out to leave the 5, this was his number at Livorno and Crotone (except when he wore 7 for a season, ugh), so he’s gotten one that he likes.
19. Tòfol Montiel—Good number for a young attacker. Second year in a row he’s worn it.
20. Germán Pezzella—The captain’s not losing his number unless, maybe, Borja Valero winds up in Florence. Mayor > captain.
21. Pol Lirola—Bit odd that he didn’t opt for 2, what with that being the traditional number of rightbacks, but 21 seems to be his favorite; he wore it at Sassuolo as well.
23. Lorenzo Venuti—Lollo seems to like 23 a lot, as he’s worn it at various stops before this one. Maybe it’s a Michael Jordan thing. Maybe it’s a Manuel Pasqual tribute.
24. Marco Benassi—Marco continues to march to the beat of his own drummer with 24, even though 6, 7, 8, and 10 were all available. Good on him for that.
25. Federico Chiesa—Yeah, this is his number and he’s never giving it up. How can you not love that filial devotion?
27. Szymon Żurkowski—This was his first squad number at Górnik Zabrze; with Pulgar beating him to the 7 shirt (which he wore back in Poland), he settled for an old flame. We’re actually glad that he’s not wearing a winger’s number for reasons described above, but 27 has a bit of a naughty history in Florence: Martin Graiciar, Schetino, Simone Lo Faso, Gilberto, Fabio Maistro, Marko Bakić, Rafał Wolski, Haris Seferović, Samuel di Carmine, Marco di Loreto, Michele Bacis, and Massimo Cicconi haven’t exactly lit the world on fire during their time wearing this number with Fiorentina. Cristian Tello is probably the most successful 27 in Viola history, which is a bit nervy, although we’re backing Żurkowski to buck the trend. Also, the team spelled his name wrong in the official release. Szymoin, eh?
28. Dušan Vlahović—Quite pleased with the Large Teen for sticking to his guns, even though you know he’d rather have Cholito’s 9.
30. Andrés Schetino—Eh, why not? He’s never worn 30 before. The team got his name wrong, too, calling him Andreas.
32. Jacob Rasmussen—The invisible Dane has opted for the number he had at Empoli last year.
33. Federico Brancolini—He’s picked 33 with the senior side for 3 years running, so I guess he likes it. Not like you get a whole lot of choice when you’re the 18-year-old third-choice goalkeeper.
35. Gabriele Gori—Not exactly a romantic choice; the only consolation is that he’s likely to leave on loan and get a better number elsewhere.
69. Bartłomiej Drągowski—Are you really going to make us do this? Really? Okay, fine. *deep sigh. Nice.
77. Cyril Théréau—Go away.
93. Aleksa Terzić—His favorite 3 is taken, so he opted for some math: 3x3 is 9, plus another 3 just to make sure everyone knows that, deep down, that’s really how he thinks of himself. Untraditional, sure, but you have to love a player who uses arithmetic to get what he wants.