The number 10 jersey is one of the most iconic symbols in soccer. The team’s most creative and talented player often wears it – the one who can change the game and make magic happen on the pitch. From soccer’s early days to the modern era, the number 10 has been associated with some of the greatest players ever. In this article, we’ll explore the history and significance of the number 10 jersey in soccer and list the 10 best players who have worn it.
The History of the Number 10 Jersey in Soccer
The number 10 jersey has its roots in the early days of soccer. In the early 20th century, each player on the field had an assigned number from 1 to 11. However, it wasn’t until the 1954 World Cup that numbers were assigned to each player on the team, and the number 10 became synonymous with the team’s most skilled player. Brazil’s legendary player Pelé was the first to wear the number 10 jersey in a World Cup, and he went on to win three of them.
As soccer evolved, the number 10 jersey became more than just a number. It became a symbol of excellence and creativity in the field. Players who wore the number 10 jersey were expected to be the best on the team, with exceptional ball control, passing ability, and vision. The number 10 jersey was reserved for the team’s playmaker, the player who could change the course of a game with a single pass or shot.
The Significance of the Number 10
The number 10 isn’t just a number on a soccer jersey. It has a more profound significance rooted in the player’s position who wears it. The number 10 often refers to the attacking midfielder responsible for creating chances and scoring goals. This player is the link between the defense and the forwards, making the team tick. The number 10 symbolizes creativity, vision, and skill on the pitch.
Players who wear the number 10 jersey are under immense pressure to perform at the highest level. They are expected to be the leaders on the field, inspire their teammates, and carry the team’s weight on their shoulders. It takes a special kind of player to wear the number 10 jersey and excel in that role.
Iconic Number 10s Throughout the Years
Over the years, some iconic and unforgettable soccer players have worn the number 10 jersey. These players have left an indelible mark on the game and inspired generations of fans and players.
- Diego Maradona
- Lionel Messi
- Zinedine Zidane
- Michel Platini
From Pelé’s mesmerizing dribbling skills to Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal, these players have achieved legendary status in soccer. Lionel Messi considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time, has worn the number 10 jersey for both Barcelona and the Argentine national team. His incredible ball control, speed, and scoring ability have earned him numerous awards and accolades, including seven Ballon d’Or titles.
Ronaldinho, the Brazilian playmaker, was known for his incredible skills on the ball and ability to score from anywhere on the field. He won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and helped lead Brazil to victory in the 2002 World Cup.
Zinedine Zidane, the French midfielder, was a master of the game, with exceptional ball control, vision, and passing ability. He led France to victory in the 1998 World Cup and was named the tournament’s best player.
Michel Platini, the French playmaker, was one of the most successful and influential players of the 1980s. He won three Ballon d’Or titles and led France to victory in the 1984 European Championships.
These players, and many others who have worn the number 10 jersey, have left an indelible mark on the game of soccer. They have inspired generations of players and fans, and their legacy will continue to be felt for years.
Criteria for Choosing the Best Number 10s
Choosing the best number 10s is no easy feat. These players must possess a unique combination of individual skill, impact on team success, and longevity and consistency on the pitch. However, a few additional factors can make the number 10 stand out.
Individual Skill and Talent
A great number 10 has to have exceptional individual skills and talents. They need to be able to dribble past defenders easily, find passes that no one else can see, and score spectacular goals. But what sets the great number 10s apart is their ability to do all these things in the most high-pressure situations. Whether it’s the World Cup final or a crucial league match, the best number 10s always seem to rise to the occasion.
Impact on Team Success
A significant number 10 doesn’t just make themselves look good on the pitch; they make the entire team better. They should be able to create chances for their teammates, dictate the game’s pace, and inspire their team to victory. But what really separates the best number 10s from the rest is their ability to make their teammates better even when they’re having an off day. Whether it’s through a perfectly weighted pass or a timely piece of advice, the best number 10s always find a way to elevate the players around them.
Longevity and Consistency
A great number 10 doesn’t just have one great season or one great World Cup. They have to maintain their exceptional level of play year after year to truly be considered one of the best. They should consistently present on the pitch and lead their team to success season after season. But what really sets the greatest number 10s apart is their ability to adapt and evolve their game as they age. Whether it’s by becoming more of a playmaker than a scorer or by refining their passing to be even more precise, the best number 10s always find a way to stay relevant and effective as they get older.
Creativity and Vision
While individual skill and impact on team success are important criteria for choosing the best number 10s, there’s another factor that can’t be ignored: creativity and vision. The best number 10s have an almost supernatural ability to see the game in a way that no one else can. They can anticipate the movements of their teammates and opponents before they even happen, and they can create opportunities out of seemingly nothing. Whether it’s a perfectly weighted through ball or a clever flick over a defender’s head, the best number 10s always seem to have a trick up their sleeve.
Leadership and Communication
Finally, leadership and communication are two more key factors to consider when choosing the best number 10s. The best number 10s are not just great players but also great leaders. They know how to motivate their teammates and communicate effectively both on and off the pitch. Whether it’s through a rousing halftime speech or a simple pat on the back, the best number 10s always know how to get the most out of their teammates.
So, when it comes to choosing the best number 10s, there’s a lot more to consider than just individual skill and impact on team success. Creativity, vision, longevity, leadership, and communication are all key factors that can make a number 10 truly great.
The Top 10 Soccer Players Wearing the Number 10 Jersey
Without further ado, here are the top 10 best soccer players who have worn the number 10 jersey:
1. Lionel Messi
Regarding exceptional skill, impact on team success, longevity, and consistency, Lionel Messi is the undisputed king of the number 10 jersey. Messi has won numerous awards and titles with Barcelona, including 10 La Liga titles and 4 Champions League titles. He has also won 6 Ballon d’Or awards, which is given to the best player in the world. Messi’s incredible goal-scoring ability, precision passing, and unmatched dribbling skills make him a true soccer legend.
2. Diego Maradona
Maradona is one of soccer’s greatest players, best known for his incredible performance in the 1986 World Cup. He wore the number 10 for Argentina, leading them to victory in that tournament. Maradona’s exceptional dribbling skills and uncanny ability to find the back of the net make him a true soccer icon.
Pelé is perhaps the most famous soccer player of all time. He’s won three World Cups and is the all-time leading scorer for his national team, Brazil. Pelé’s skill on the pitch was unparalleled, and he inspired generations of soccer players to follow in his footsteps.
Ronaldinho’s exceptional skills and personality on and off the pitch made him a fan favorite around the world. He wore the number 10 jersey for Barcelona and Brazil, and during his career, he won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d’Or.
5. Zinedine Zidane
Zidane is one of the greatest midfielders to ever play the game. He won the World Cup with France in 1998 and played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Real Madrid and Juventus. Zidane’s incredible skill on the ball and powerful shot make him one of the greatest number 10s in soccer history.
6. Michel Platini
Platini was a French attacking midfielder who played for Juventus and the French national team. He won the Ballon d’Or three times and is considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time. His precision passing and deadly accuracy in front of the goal make him a true number 10 great.
7. Juan Román Riquelme
Riquelme was an Argentine midfielder who played for Boca Juniors and Villarreal. He was known for his exceptional vision and creativity on the ball, and he led Boca Juniors to multiple titles during his time there.
8. Dennis Bergkamp
Bergkamp was a Dutch forward who played for clubs like Arsenal and Ajax. He was known for his incredible ball control and his ability to score goals from tight angles. Bergkamp wore the number 10 for club and country and is considered one of the greatest Dutch players ever.
9. Luka Modric
Modric is a Croatian midfielder who currently plays for Real Madrid. He won the Ballon d’Or in 2018 and has won multiple titles with Real Madrid and the Croatian national team. Modric’s exceptional passing and leadership skills make him a true number 10 great.
10. Neymar Jr.
Neymar Jr. is a Brazilian forward who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain. He has won multiple titles with Barcelona, including two La Liga titles and a Champions League. Neymar Jr.’s exceptional dribbling skills and creativity make him one of the most exciting players to watch in soccer today.
The number 10 jersey is one of soccer’s most iconic symbols, and the players who wear it have achieved legendary status in the sport. From Pelé to Messi, Maradona to Ronaldinho, these players have left an indelible mark on the game and inspired generations of soccer players to come. We hope you enjoyed our list of the 10 best soccer players who have worn the number 10 jersey.