Antoine Griezmann has been handed the No.7 shirt at Barcelona ahead of the new 2020-21 La Liga season.
The World Cup winner took the No. 17 after arriving from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019 as his favored No. 7 shirt was already taken by Philippe Coutinho.
According to Sport, the France international tried to change numbers last season, as Coutinho was out on loan at Bayern Munich, but was refused permission by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
The report states Griezmann has been granted his wish this summer after winning over the dressing room, although it’s not mentioned what number Coutinho will wear in 2020-21.
The Brazilian wore the No. 10 at Bayern last season but that shirt is, of course, worn by captain Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.
Griezmann thanked Coutinho for the switch in a post on Twitter: He wrote: “I want to thank @Phil_Coutinho, who in addition to being a great player is a great teammate.”
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Griezmann and the No. 7
Griezmann had already dropped a big hint that he wanted the No. 7 shirt in a post on Twitter back in July as he celebrated reaching seven million followers on the social media platform.
The 29-year-old has previously worn the number with national side France and former club Atletico Madrid and had already made it clear that he “would like” to wear it at the Camp Nou.
Griezmann has explained that the number is his favorite because he’s a big fan of former Manchester United and England midfielder David Beckham.
“My idol was David Beckham and he wore the number 7 shirt at United. He later went on to use the number 23 shirt and even number 32 during his time at PSG.”
The 29-year-old now follows in the footsteps of players such as David Villa, Pedro, and Henrik Larsson who also wore the number for the Catalan giants.
Koeman ‘Counting On’ Griezmann and Coutinho
Griezmann and Coutinho both look set for important seasons at Barcelona. Neither player has made the impact expected at the club, and there has been speculation both could be sold.
However, manager Ronald Koeman has decided he’s counting on the duo for 2020-21 and will be hoping he can finally get the best out of the two players.
Koeman has already said he plans to play Griezmann in his preferred position, rather than out wide, which should benefit the Frenchman. Meanwhile, Coutinho is back after a morale-boosting campaign at Bayern where he won the treble.