Eden Hazard hopes to emulate basketball greats with the number 23

Credit PA

Credit PA

Hazard isn't going to be wearing the number 10 shirt, because that's now occupied by Ballon d'Or victor Luka Modric, so he's had to choose another.

However, Modric, the man who now wears that jersey, wasn't keen to give it up.

But Madrid striker Mariano, who is adamant he does not want to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, is also unwilling to give up his number for Hazard.

The Belgian will now wear the No 23 shirt at Real Madrid.

However, Hazard's reasoning is not because of the former England captain.

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Though Hazard has asked for the number 23 shirt because of his love for the National Basketball Association and icons such as LeBron James and Michael Jordan, Marca suggest it could also be because the number 7 isn't available.

The former Fener supremo spoke to Ajansspor: "He had incredible sympathy for Fenerbahce and gave me his word: 'Hasan, one day I'll play for Fenerbahce, I just do not know when that will be".

More recently, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has also worn number 23, including during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in his career. Since then, it has been worn by Isco and Sergio Reguilon, but Hazard is ready to become the next player to sport the number.

Hazard will be hoping that wearing the No.23 on his back will enable him to replicate some of the success that Jordan and James have shown on the basketball court as he looks to make the number his own in Madrid.

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