This is what Alan Pardew told player who wanted Newcastle United's No9 shirt
Papiss Cisse has opened up about wearing the No9 shirt at Newcastle United.
Cisse wore the revered jersey during his four-and-a-half-year career at St James’s Park.
The striker, now at Turkish club Alanyaspor, was handed the shirt by then-manager Alan Pardew following his move from Freiburg in Jauary 2012.
“Alan Pardew showed me the way to do well in English football,” Cisse told The Athletic. “He made me start on the bench against Villa, and just wait and watch. To see the pace of the game.
“I didn’t speak brilliant English, but I’d told them I wanted the No9 shirt. Pardew asked me: ‘Papiss, are you sure you want to take this number?’ Yes, for me, I always play as a No9. I am a No9. I wanted it.
“He asked me again ‘are you sure? You have to be ready if you do. It’s the No9 shirt at Newcastle. It means something’.
“He showed me a video of Alan Shearer wearing that shirt, the ball flying into the net from his left foot, his right foot, his head. I was like ‘who is this?’,
“‘This is what a No 9 at Newcastle has to do, Papiss.’ It made me want it more.
“I had the confidence to take it on. A lot of people wondered who I was, where I’d come from, and why I should get this shirt. So I wanted to show the world I could wear this number. The coach had faith in me.
“OK, I didn’t do perfectly like Alan Shearer, but I tried my best to justify having that number on my back.
“I came on really early in that game against Villa, and they announced in the stadium ‘welcome to our new No9, Papiss Cisse’.
“There was this roar. I had to maintain the high standards of that number and, although I’ve still never met him, not let the Big Man (Shearer) down.
“That noise showed what it meant to the people. Scoring a winning goal was a big moment, and 13 goals in my first 12 games was a good start.”