International Soccer

What shirt number will Kylian Mbappe take at Real Madrid?

Kylian Mbappe will line up in the white of Real Madrid for the 2023/24 season and beyond after his free transfer following the expiration of his Paris Saint-Germain contract was confirmed.

One of the most enthralling transfer sagas ever finally came to an end in early June when Los Blancos dropped perhaps their most significant ‘Comunicado Oficial’ ever.

Mbappe has signed a five-year contract at the Bernabeu but he may not get to wear his preferred shirt number at the start of his spell with the reigning La Liga and Champions League holders.

So which jersey will the France captain take in Madrid?

TOPSHOT-FBL-FRA-CUP-LYON-PSG

Mbappe wore the 7 shirt at PSG / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

While Mbappe will undoubtedly be happy to have finally sealed his move to Madrid, the former PSG attacker will have to wait until he gets one of his preferred shirt numbers.

The 25-year-old bore the number 7 jersey for almost all of his spell at Parc des Princes. However, that top is currently held by Madrid icon Vinicius Junior and, while the Brazilian will want to be accommodating for his new teammate, he may not be willing to give up the number.

Mbappe has also become synonymous with the 10 shirt having sported it on the international scene with France. In the long-term, this may well end up being the jersey he wears on a regular basis given current holder Luka Modric is now 38 and approaching the end of his career.

The Croatia international is set to sign a new contract with Los Blancos for another season, so Mbappe – who had been slated to pick up that digit before the transfer was made official – may have to see out the 2023/24 campaign with a more unfamiliar number before switching to the 10.

There is one prestigious digit up for grabs. Karim Benzema’s departure last year opened up the 9 top and no incoming transfer during the 2023/24 summer window took it, meaning it is the logical choice for Mbappe to take, even if it is only for one season.

He wouldn’t be the first superstar at Madrid to be forced into that particular move, either.

Cristiano Ronaldo had taken the number 7 shirt during each of his six seasons with Manchester United before making the move to Madrid in 2009. He was unable to retain that shirt at the Bernabeu, however, due to the presence of club great Raul Gonzalez.

The Spaniard was approaching the twilight of his career but left the jersey vacant went he began his swansong with Schalke in 2010, allowing Ronaldo to scoop the number which he went on to retain at Juve, United again and currently with Al Nassr.

Federico Valverde

Valverde will take Kroos’ 8 shirt / Diego Souto/GettyImages

The number 9 seems like too obvious a selection for Mbappe to ignore, but there are some other shirts available if he decides to go rogue.

After 9, the lowest available number is 16. However, there is little prestige attached to the shirt, with its last inhabitants being Alvaro Odriozola and Luka Jovic.

The number 15 isn’t technically free just yet but it has been revealed that current holder Federico Valverde will soon take Toni Kroos’ 8 jersey following the Germany international’s retirement, so he could pick that one up if it holds any particular significance to him.

However, the number 9 surely has Mbappe’s name written all over it.

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