Chukwueze, Pirlo, Ibrahimovic – AC Milan’s iconic 21 jersey

Chukwueze, Pirlo, Ibrahimovic – AC Milan’s iconic 21 jersey
Credit: Icon Sport

AC Milan's iconic number 21 jersey, once worn by football legends Andrea Pirlo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has found a new owner in the talented Nigeria Super Eagles winger, Samuel Chukwueze.

With Chukwueze now donning the prestigious jersey, the San Siro is set to witness the next exciting chapter in its storied history.

Chukwueze continues the legacy: AC Milan's iconic #21 jersey

In the world of football, jersey numbers often carry significant meaning, and they can become synonymous with the legends who once donned them.

The number 21 jersey at AC Milan is one such iconic number that holds a special place in the hearts of football fans worldwide. Recently, this revered jersey has found a new owner in the form of Super Eagles' rising star Samuel Chukwueze.

Samuel Chukwueze celebrates scoring for Villarreal
Credit: Icon Sport

The Nigerian winger, known for his electrifying pace and mesmerizing dribbling skills, has made a high-profile move from Villarreal in La Liga to the legendary Italian club AC Milan.

As he begins this new chapter of his footballing journey, Chukwueze has decided to wear the number 21 jersey, which holds a rich history within the Rossoneri ranks.

Chukwueze's choice of the number 21 jersey is not only an ode to his new club but also marks a significant shift from his previous jersey numbers.

At the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, he burst onto the international stage wearing the number 8 jersey and played a crucial role in helping Nigeria secure their fifth title in the tournament's history.

During his time at Villarreal, he donned the number 30 jersey, but now, at AC Milan, he aims to create his own legacy wearing the number that carries the weight of past footballing greatness.

The number 21 jersey at AC Milan has been worn by two footballing maestros, Andrea Pirlo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both of whom left an indelible mark on the club's history.

Andrea Pirlo: The Italian midfield maestro

AC Milan legend Andrea Pirlo
Credit: Icon Sport

Andrea Pirlo, the former Italian international and midfield wizard, is revered as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. During his ten-year spell at AC Milan from 2001 to 2011, Pirlo mesmerized fans with his elegant style of play and exceptional technical ability. Wearing the number 21 jersey, he made the position of deep-lying playmaker his own.

Pirlo's unrivalled vision, pin-point passing, and ability to dictate the flow of the game from midfield made him an invaluable asset for AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, and the Italian national team, where he continued to wear the same iconic number.

Throughout his career, Pirlo's dead-ball skills and range of passing were a joy to behold, and he played an instrumental role in helping AC Milan secure Scudetto titles and UEFA Champions League trophies.

As Chukwueze takes on the number 21 jersey, he undoubtedly acknowledges the great legacy of Pirlo and will strive to bring his own unique qualities to the storied jersey.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The enigmatic goal machine

Zlatan Ibrahimovic shirts on sale
Credit: Icon Sport

Another footballing icon who brought charisma and goals to the number 21 jersey at AC Milan was Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Known for his larger-than-life personality and remarkable goal-scoring abilities, Ibrahimovic made a triumphant return to AC Milan in 2020, choosing the number 21 jersey for his second stint with the club.

Ibrahimovic's reason for choosing the number 21 jersey was as heartwarming as it was unconventional. He revealed that his eldest son had a hand in the decision, as he allowed his son to pick the jersey number for him.

“Because that was the number my eldest son chose, I showed him all the numbers available and he chose 21,” Ibrahimovic said. The number 21 it was, and the rest, as they say, is history.

During his time at Milan, Ibrahimovic proved that age is just a number, delivering jaw-dropping performances and scoring crucial goals. Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a total of 163 games, scoring an impressive 93 goals and providing 35 assists.

Ibrahimovic's time at AC Milan was marked by tremendous success. He helped lead the team to two Italian Championships, showcasing his ability to excel at the highest level of Italian football.

Additionally, he played a pivotal role in securing one Italian Super Cup title, adding another piece of silverware to AC Milan's illustrious trophy cabinet.

Chukwueze: Writing his own story

As Chukwueze dons the number 21 jersey for AC Milan, he steps into the shadows of two footballing giants, Pirlo and Ibrahimovic.

However, this is an opportunity for the young Nigerian star to carve his own path and create a unique legacy at the San Siro.

With his explosive style of play and natural flair on the wings, Chukwueze brings a different dimension to AC Milan's attacking arsenal. His pace, skill, and eye for goal make him a potential game-changer for the Rossoneri.

As the 21 jersey gets passed down from one talented footballer to another, it serves as a reminder of the rich history of AC Milan and the legacy of those who once wore it. Chukwueze has the chance to etch his name in the club's folklore and become a symbol of future success for the famous Italian giants.

As the 2023/2024 season approaches, AC Milan fans eagerly await Chukwueze's debut in the hallowed number 21 jersey, hoping to witness the rise of a new star who will add more chapters to the storied history of this iconic shirt.

The stage is set, the jersey is now his, and all eyes will be on Chukwueze as he embarks on this new adventure with AC Milan.

This article was most recently revised and updated 5 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old football journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. The Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBallLive readers.