With the departure of Raul and Guti from the Real Madrid ranks, two important shirt numbers remain open in the squad. As reported by AS, Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Manchester United as CR7 to take the number nine upon arriving in Madrid, will take Raul's vacant No. 7 while Xabi Alonso will claim Guti's No. 14, giving the Basque midfielder the same number he traditionally wore at Liverpool and wears with the Spanish national team.
With CR9 becoming CR7, French striker Karim Benzema will reportedly vacate his No. 11 shirt to take up the historic Madrid No. 9, a number worn by such players as Alfredo Di Stefano, Hugo Sanchez and Brazilian striker Ronaldo (who, similar to Benzema, also left the No. 11 shirt after his first year at Madrid). Newcomer Angel Di Maria will take Benzema's old number while Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain has chosen to keep his traditional No. 20 shirt, declaring: "I have grown attached to the number and it is the one I've had since I arrived. I don't see a reason to change. Footballers are the ones who play, not the number."
New signing Pedro Leon has not yet decided, but will likely wear 21, while the No. 22 shirt, left free by Xabi Alonso's switch to 14, will be claimed by youngster Sergio Canales. German midfielder Sami Khedira will choose the number 16 for the pre-season, but summer transfers could potentially change that, as current No. 6 Mahamadou Diarra's possible transfer out of the club could leave the German international's World Cup number open.
The No. 2 shirt is also left open as Alvaro Arbeloa has claimed the no. 17 shirt, the same number he wore in the Spanish national team as they lifted the World Cup.