Mario Balotelli has worn 45 at every club he’s played for. After signing for Liverpool in 2014, he explained exactly why.
“When I first played three or four games with Inter Milan, when I was young, I had No 45 because the numbers for young players were from No 36 to No 50,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
“It brings me luck and that’s why I’ve always kept No 45.”
Balotelli must have been disappointed, then, when he found out that Ligue 1 rules meant he wasn’t allowed to wear 45.
According to Article 564 of the Ligue 1 and 2 regulations, the highest number allowed is 30 because squads must not exceed 30 players. The document describes numbers ranging between 45 and 82 as “whimsical”.
If a club can justify having a larger squad then they can go up to number 40, but even that wouldn’t help Balotelli.