Many clubs have retired jersey numbers to honor their outstanding players over the years. Retiring a shirt number is the highest honor bestowed on a loyal servant of a football club, a player who has made an impact on the field and has become a fan favorite.
Giving up an important squad number once and for all is not an easy choice, but many clubs have done it down the years, which deserves respect.
Let us take a look at four players whose jersey numbers were retired by their clubs:
- Raul Gonzalez (Schalke 04)
After spending many years at Real Madrid, the legendary Spanish striker joined Bundesliga side Schalke 04. Despite spending just two seasons at the club, they decided to retire his number 7 shirt after his departure.
- Diego Maradona (Napoli)
Maradona wore the number 10 shirt while playing for Napoli and he spent seven seasons at the Italian club, achieving huge success with them. In his honour, they retired the number 10 shirt after his departure.
- Pele (New York Cosmos)
Pele spent most part of his career at Santos but spent the final two years at New York Cosmos where he scored 64 goals in 107 games. They honoured him by retiring his number 10 shirt after he left.
Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan)
Zanetti spent 19 seasons at Inter Milan and achieved huge success with the club. Upon his retirement, they honored him by retiring his number 4 shirt.
- Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
A servant of the club for over 25 years, it’s fair to say Paolo Maldini earned the honour of retaining his number three shirt. Although the number ‘3’ has been officially retired, Maldini does have the right to re-instate it if any of his sons play for Milan.