WIGNALDUM REVEALS REASON BEHIND SHIRT NUMBER - TMnews Magazine Online

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WIGNALDUM REVEALS REASON BEHIND SHIRT NUMBER

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Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed he wears No.5 because his favourite player as a child was Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane.
The iconic Frenchman is now in his second spell as Los Blancos head coach after winning a record-breaking three successive Champions League titles in his first stint at the helm – adding to the multitude of silverware he won as a player with both club and country.
Zidane, who also spent five years at Serie A giants Juventus, famously wore the shirt number and it has inspired Dutchman Wijnaldum to follow suit, wearing it throughout his Premier League career.
“Number five is a really special number for me,” Wijnaldum said in an Instagram Live broadcast. “It was my lucky number when I was young but also because my favourite player, Zinedine Zidane, was playing with number five.
“I was really happy that I could start my professional career as number five. Since then I've played with number five at Newcastle and when I came to Liverpool, the club basically kept number five for me. I was really happy with that.”
The 29-year-old also revealed that Mexico international midfielder Andres Guardado – who Wijnaldum faced at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as the Netherlands triumphed 2-1 – was the most challenging individual he had ever come up against.
“The toughest opponent I ever played against was Andres Guardado,” Wijnaldum continued. “There was a game at the World Cup against Mexico, it was really hot and he was my opponent that day
It was a really hot day and he just kept running! It was really difficult for me, and besides that, he’s also a really good football player.
“On the ball, he was really great. It was a big thing for me to stop him. Because it was so hot, it was more difficult than normal, but at the end, we still won the game.”
Wijnaldum and his team-mates were knocked out of that tournament on penalties at the semi-final stage by eventual runners-up
Argentina but did beat host nation Brazil 3-0 to cement third place in the playoff.

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