Gianluigi Donnarumma has taken the No.50 shirt at Paris Saint-Germain after signing on a free transfer from AC Milan.
The Italy Euro 2020 hero has signed a five-year contract with the French giants and follows up the additions of Gini Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) July 14, 2021
But the 22-year-old was unable to select his favourite shirt number at the Parc des Princes. Since he debuted with Milan as a 16-year-old, Donnarumma wore the No.99 in between the sticks as it was the year he was born.
However, Ligue One rules prohibit goalkeepers from wearing such a number and infamously prevented Mario Balotelli from wearing No.45 at Nice and Marseille.
The numbers 1, 16 and 30 are specifically reserved for goalkeepers but in this instance they are occupied by Keylor Navas, Sergio Rico and Alexandre Letellier, respectively.
Courtesy of a rough translation fromBalls.ie, the LFP rule #670 reads: “Every Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 club must establish the number assignment list on Isyfoot 72 hours before the start of the competition.
“This list can not exceed 30 names, the number 30 is the last in the list may be supplemented and updated with every movement in the club. If a club justifies employ over 30 professional players under contract, the board may grant an exception to the preceding paragraph. Whimsical dials are prohibited (example: 45 – 82).
“The numbers 1, 16 and 30 are exclusively and necessarily reserved for goalkeepers. Ultimately, the number 40 can be assigned. All teams must have a jersey with number 33 that is not assigned to a player and reserved for breaking replacements. A directory is established early in the season and available to referees and delegates by the LFP.”
Incredibly, Donnarumma is now the ninth goalkeeper in PSG’s first-team squad, with manager Mauricio Pochettino just two players away from fielding a full XI of goalkeepers.
However, Alphonse Areola, who spent last season on loan at Fulham, is said to be nearing a permanent move to West Ham.