The meaning behind David Beckham's #23 jersey at LA Galaxy and Real Madrid

Hyundai Club Challenge - Sydney FC v LA Galaxy
Hyundai Club Challenge - Sydney FC v LA Galaxy / Don Arnold/GettyImages

David Beckham's iconic number choice, the #23 jersey, had significant ties both at Real Madrid and LA Galaxy, reflecting his admiration and respect for sporting legends beyond football.

Upon joining Real Madrid in 2003, Beckham's legendary #7 from Manchester United wasn't an option, as Raul, a revered figure at the Bernabeu, had already solidified that number. Pedro Munitis had #23 when Beckham arrived, but Beckham's admiration for basketball legend Michael Jordan led him to request the number. "I'm a huge fan of Jordan, always been a big admirer of him. I asked for 23 and that's how it all started," Beckham recalled.

The story didn't end in Spain. Beckham brought the #23 legacy to the LA Galaxy in 2007. His attachment to the number went beyond just a nod to Jordan's legacy; it represented something more profound. "I loved the thought of wearing 23 in America, the connection with Jordan and how important the 23 was," Beckham shared.

Moreover, Beckham's decision to keep the #23 jersey in LA also stemmed from his respect for Chris Klein, who wore the #7 at the Galaxy. "I always feel bad taking numbers off people and I've never really done it, so I wasn't going to start on my first day at the Galaxy," Beckham said, reflecting his humility and camaraderie within the team.

From Real Madrid to LA Galaxy, Beckham's choice to wear #23 encapsulated his appreciation for greatness beyond football, reflecting his respect for legends and his thoughtful consideration for team dynamics.