Like many other popular team sports around the world, the soccer rules require that each player on a soccer team has their own unique number that identifies them on the field.
While these numbers are generally only needed to make the referee’s life easier on the field (they make identifying players easier), some of them have gained a lot of fame and popularity over the years, mainly due to the legendary soccer players that have worn these numbers.
But which numbers exactly are we talking about? And which players have worn these popular numbers? Well, you’re about to find out in this article
So without further ado, here is your list of some of the most popular soccer jersey numbers.
The number 10 Jersey
There is no way you wouldn’t have expected to find the number 10 on this list if you have any idea about the soccer game.
If I had to nominate a single number as the most popular jersey number in soccer, it would be the number 10.
But why exactly is the number 10 so popular in soccer? Well, it’s because it has been worn by some of the biggest soccer legends over the years. It’s that simple.
Pele, who has been declared a “national treasure” by his country Brazil, has worn the number 10 jersey in his soccer career.
Maradona, one of the best soccer players in the history of the game has worn the number 10 jersey.
And of course… Lionel Messi, the player with the highest number of Ballon d’or awards (Best Player Award) has worn the famous number 10 jersey.
As for women’s soccer, the number 10 has also been worn by some of the best women soccer players, including Marta, Homare Sawa, Carli Lloyd and others.
And the list of the other excellent soccer players who have worn the number 10 jersey is endless.
The number 7 Jersey
The number 7 is also one of the most iconic numbers in the soccer world, however, what made it even more iconic in the past decade is the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who is widely known as CR7 has turned the number 7 into a global brand.
For those who don’t already know, CR7 is one of the best soccer players in the world. Ronaldo has worn his number 7 jersey at Manchester United for the first time, and the rest was history.
There are many other legendary soccer players who have worn the number 7 too including David Beckham, Raul, Franck Ribery and many others.
The number 1 Jersey
The number 1 in soccer is popular since it is usually reserved to the goalkeepers, and specifically, it is generally reserved to the best goalkeeper on the team.
There are more than one goalkeeper in a soccer team, but in general, the main goalkeeper of the team (the goalkeeper who is picked for most of the games) is the one who gets the number 1 jersey.
The list of some of the top goalkeepers of all time who have worn the number 1 include Oliver Khan (men’s soccer), Manuel Neuer (men’s soccer), Nadine Angerer (women’s soccer) and others.
The number 14 Jersey
The number 14 has been worn by some excellent soccer players throughout the years. However, one of the first names that usually comes to the minds of many soccer fans when you mention the number 14 is Johan Cruyff
Cruyff is a 3 times Ballon d’or winner, and he also managed to become one of the best coaches/managers in the history of the game after he retired from playing soccer.
Cruyff’s influence on the game still lives up to this day.
To honor the player, Ajax, his former team, has retired the number 14, which means that no Ajax player can pick the number 14 as their jersey number.
Other excellent soccer players who have worn the number 14 are Joy Fawcett (women’s soccer), Thierry Henry (men’s soccer), and others.
The numbers 9 and 11 Jerseys
The numbers 9 and 11 are also popular in the soccer world. Mainly because they are usually associated with the attacking players of a team.
The number 9 is usually worn by the top striker of the team, and the number 11 is usually associated with the Winger soccer position.
Some of the best soccer players who have worn one of the above 2 numbers are Neymar (11 at Barcelona), Ian Rush (9 at Liverpool), and Mia Hamm (9 with the United States women’s soccer team) who is considered one of the greatest female soccer players in history.
There are many other popular soccer jersey numbers out there. In fact, every soccer jersey number can be seen as popular, but I will end my list here.
However, I still have to mention a few other rare and unique numbers that have been worn by soccer players on the field.
Rare soccer jersey numbers.
1- The number 80
Ronaldinho, who is also a legendary soccer player, has worn the number 80 with his team AC Milan.
In general, you don’t see soccer players with some large numbers on their jerseys, but Ronaldinho decided to go for the number 80 since the number 10 was already occupied, and since he was born in the year 1980
2- The number 69
Bixente Lizarazu had the number 69 as his jersey number at Bayern Munich. If you google his name, you’ll find out that Lizarazu was born in 1969, and he is also 169 cm tall, which made him want the number 69 when playing for Bayern.
3- The number 1+8. Yes, you read that correctly.
Ivan Zamorano had one of the most unique jersey numbers in the history of the game. Zamorano wanted to wear the number 9, but the number 9 was given to another player.
So he agreed to take the number 18, but asked the team to add a “+” sign between the 1 and the 8 on his jersey which means that technically, he is also a number 9 player. What a genius.
With that said, we have reached the end of the article. If you want to read more, you can check these jersey related articles: