This is for several reasons. It could give an indication of the player’s position, it could be their year of birth (such as El Shaarawy 92) and it could also offer insight into their personal background. As an example, Daniele De Rossi wanted the number 16 back in 2005 not so much because of his idol Roy Keane, but mostly because of the birthdate of his first daughter, Gaia. A different example is Jeremy Menez’s decision to opt for 94 because of the neighbourhood in Paris where he was born and grew up.
2023-24 will be the 29th season with fixed squad numbers, while the club has already released two spoilers in the form of Houssem Aouar taking 22 and Evan Ndicka selecting 5.
The rule has been in place in Serie A going back to 1995-96. One or two numbers on the back along with the player’s surname is the format. What used to be the norm only for national teams (from Euro 92 onwards) became standard in national leagues as well. UEFA only gave the go-ahead for its own club competitions to follow suit in 1996.
In 1995, the first player with a fixed squad number to score for the Giallorossi was Marco Branca (22) in a 1-1 stalemate at home to Sampdoria under the stewardship of Carlo Mazzone to kick off the season. The forward would then leave for Inter a few months later as part of a swap deal that saw Marco Delvecchio move to Roma, going on to become a vastly popular wearer of the 24 jersey.
Going back to the first goal with fixed numbers, we have calculated the top five most prolific squad numbers between 1995 and 2023, so here they are in ascending order.
106 goals have been notched by number 8s, which is currently donned by Nemanja Matic (“I initially had 21, then Paulo [Dybala] called me in tears asking me for it, so I said, ‘OK, take it,’ joked the Serb in a recent interview).
A range of players in different positions have worn the number 8 in the past, from defenders to midfielders and forwards. Matteo Ferrari, Alberto Aquilani and Adriano provide an example from one of each. The first number 8 in 1995-96 was Francesco Statuto, while Diego Perotti is the most prolific player to have worn it so far.
Roma’s number 24s have amassed 118 goals for Roma between them, with Marash Kumbulla the current player donning the jersey.
On no fewer than ten occasions have number 24s celebrated a Rome derby goal, with nine of those converted by Marco Delvecchio and the most recent one by Alessandro Florenzi. The forward was also the first player wearing 24 to find the net for Roma as well as the most prolific scorer to wear this squad number.
There have been a plethora of fascinating stories involving Roma’s number 11s, starting off with Daniel Fonseca. During the Zdenek Zeman era, it was worn by Eusebio Di Francesco, while Emerson Ferreira da Rosa took ownership of it from the Scudetto-winning season until the Fabio Capello days.
Rodrigo Taddei claimed the number 11 jersey for the best part of a decade, while Mo Salah and Aleksandar Kolarov have sported it in more recent times. The Egyptian forward is the top-scoring number 11 to date, while it is now worn by Andrea Belotti, who has contributed to the overall tally of 144 goals.
The number 10 is more of a straightforward story, with one standout name who needs no introduction. The club’s history-making captain, Francesco Totti, opted for the coveted jersey in 1997 having started out with numbers 20 and 17. Totti enjoyed 20 years of memorable, magical action with the number 10 on his back.
Going back to before the era when Totti made the jersey his own, Daniel Fonseca registered eight goals as a number 10 in 1996-97. The previous season saw Giuseppe Giannini convert a crucial header against Slavia Prague as a number 10 in the UEFA Cup, but jerseys were still assigned from 1 to 11 in that competition at that time.
Number 9 simply had to be top of the scoring charts as the quintessential digit for a striker.
Many will remember Roberto Pruzzo’s goalscoring antics before the days of fixed squad numbers, while more recent Roma strikers include the likes of Abel Balbo, Vincenzo Montella, Mirko Vucinic, Daniel Pablo Osvaldo, Edin Dzeko and Tammy Abraham, all of whom share an insatiable hunger to find the net. All number 9s together currently have no fewer than 395 goals to their names.
© 2018-2023 Soccer S.r.l. – EU VAT IT09305501000 - all rights reserved. The AS Roma names, logos and artwork are registered or unregistered trademarks of Soccer S.r.l. All other trademarks may be the property of their respective holders.