Spaniard Alvaro Morata will wear the number 29 shirt for Chelsea in the 2018/19 season for very personal reasons.
Morata decided to change from the number 9 he wore last season to celebrate and pay tribute to his family after his wife Alice gave birth to twins Alessandro and Leonardo on Sunday – 29 July.
'I like the number nine, but now I have my two babies with me!' 👨👦👦
Watch @AlvaroMorata's full interview in the Chelsea app later today!
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 3, 2018
“It is a day I will never forget, to welcome my twin sons into the world. My family is so important to me and I want to honour them and my wife, Alice, when I am on the pitch which is why I have decided to take a different number for the new season and remember this special day by adding the number 2 to my shirt.
‘I am sorry to the fans who may have bought a number 9 with my name already, but I hope you understand my tribute and that it will not be a problem and we can make you a new one with the 29. Thank you for your support and I hope this year there will be lots more to celebrate.’
He began his career at Real Madrid, making his debut with the senior team in late 2010 and going on to appear in 52 official games (11 goals), notably winning the 2014 Champions League.
He moved to Juventus for €20 million in 2014, winning the domestic double of Serie A and Coppa Italia in both of his seasons before being bought back for €30 million.
With Real, Morata won another La Liga and Champions League before joining Chelsea in 2017 for a club record transfer fee of around £60 million.
Morata earned 50 caps for Spain at youth level, helping the country win the 2013 European Under-21 Championship.
He made his senior debut in 2014, and represented the nation at Euro 2016.