Soccer players are known for expressing themselves through their jersey numbers; number 18 is no exception. In this article, we’ll explore the role, history, and most famous players who have worn this significant number in soccer. Here are the top subheadings we will cover:
The Significance of Number 18 in Soccer
Before we dive into the players who’ve worn number 18, let’s take a moment to appreciate the significance of this number in soccer. In many cultures and religions, 18 is considered lucky or sacred. In Judaism, for example, the number 18 represents “chai,” which means “life.” In Chinese numerology, the number 18 is believed to represent “fast progress.” Similarly, in the Tarot, 18 symbolizes the Moon, representing change and cycles. In soccer, 18 is often assigned to players who substantially impact their team’s success. Let’s explore the history of this number:
History of the Number 18
The number 18 has been significant in different ways throughout history. In addition to its significance in Chinese numerology and the Tarot, it has also been used in many other cultures and religions. For example, in Hinduism, 18 represents the eighteen Puranas, which are ancient Sanskrit texts. In the Kabbalah, 18 represents the word “chai,” which means “life” in Hebrew. The number 18 has had a powerful meaning in soccer since the beginning. Back in the 1930s, soccer teams only had eleven players, and each number symbolized the position a player played on the field. Number 18 was assigned to the striker position. Later, as soccer evolved and teams gained more members, the significance of number 18 shifted to represent a versatile player who can play both on offense and defense.
Famous Players Who Have Worn Number 18
Now that we understand the history and significance of number 18 let’s take a closer look at the legendary players who’ve proudly worn it throughout their careers. Some of the most notable players who wore or wear number 18 include:
- Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid): A Uruguayan forward who has been a prolific scorer. He has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Golden Shoe, awarded to the top scorer in European leagues.
- Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur): Bale is a Welsh winger known for his speed, skill, and powerful left foot. He has won numerous awards and accolades, including the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.
- Marcos Reus (Borussia Dortmund): Reus is a German attacking midfielder known for his speed, skill, and creativity. He has won numerous awards and accolades, including the German Cup and the DFL-Supercup.
- Paul Pogba (Manchester United): Pogba is a French midfielder known for his strength, skill, and vision. He has won numerous awards and accolades, including the World Cup and the Europa League.
- Radamel Falcao (Galatasaray): Falcao is a Colombian striker known for his clinical finishing and aerial ability. He has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Europa League and the Copa del Rey.
- Frank Lampard (Retired): Lampard is an English midfielder widely regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation. He won numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including the Premier League, the Champions League, and the Europa League.
The Role of a Number 18 Player on the Field
As mentioned earlier, the significance of the number 18 has evolved. Nowadays, number 18 players are usually midfielders capable of playing on attack and defense. They are often responsible for distributing the ball, creating goal-scoring opportunities, and helping the team maintain possession. They also need to be able to cover a lot of ground, have great stamina, and have excellent technical skills. Number 18 players are often considered the team’s engine, as they drive the team forward and set the game’s tempo. They are also expected to be leaders on and off the field, inspiring their teammates to give their best and never give up.
Top Current Soccer Players Wearing Number 18
Now that we understand the role, history, and significance of number 18, let’s explore the top players currently wearing it. Here is a quick rundown of some of the top players:
Premier League Stars
Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in the Premier League who wears number 18. He’s a versatile player, capable of playing on the wing or as a forward, and is known for his blistering pace, free-kick ability, and dribbling skills. He’s also won multiple titles and individual awards throughout his career. Another Premier League star who wears number 18 is Paul Pogba of Manchester United. He’s a central midfielder known for his athleticism, passing accuracy, and long-range shots.
Off the pitch, Bale is an avid golfer and has a handicap of 4. He’s also a philanthropist and has donated millions of pounds to various charities, including the Cardiff Children’s Hospital and the University Hospital of Wales.
La Liga Talents
In La Liga, Luis Suarez of Atletico Madrid is one of the most potent strikers in the league. He’s known for his clinical finishing, physicality, and ability to score from difficult angles. He’s also won multiple league and international titles throughout his career. Another La Liga star who wears number 18 is Antoine Griezmann of Barcelona. He’s a versatile forward capable of playing in multiple positions and has a great eye for goal.
Off the pitch, Suarez is a family man with four children with his wife Sofia Balbi. He’s also known for his love of animals and has a pet pig named Pablito. Griezmann, on the other hand, is an avid gamer and has even streamed himself playing Fortnite on Twitch. He’s also a fan of basketball and supports the NBA team, the Brooklyn Nets.
Serie A Standouts
Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli is one of the most exciting players in Serie A who wears number 18. He’s a dynamic attacker known for his dribbling skills, long-range shots, and creativity on the pitch. He’s also represented Italy internationally and has won multiple titles with Napoli. Another Serie A standout who wears number 18 is Matteo Politano of Napoli. He’s a lively player and a dangerous goal scorer.
Off the pitch, Insigne is a family man and has two children with his wife Genoveffa. He’s also a fashion fan and has been known to attend fashion shows during his downtime. Conversely, Politano is a big music fan and has even released a single called “Tiki Taka” with Italian rapper Jake La Furia.
Marcos Reus of Borussia Dortmund is among the most talented players to don number 18 in the Bundesliga. He’s a skillful attacking midfielder known for his dribbling skills, creativity, and goal-scoring ability. He’s also won numerous awards and titles with Borussia Dortmund throughout his career.
Off the pitch, Reus is a family man and has two children with his wife Scarlett Gartmann. He’s also a big fan of tattoos and has multiple tattoos covering his arms and chest. He’s even been known to design his own tattoos.
Ligue 1 Sensations
Memphis Depay of Lyon is one of the top talents in Ligue 1, who wears number 18. He’s a versatile forward capable of playing in multiple positions and is known for his dribbling skills, agility, and scoring touch. He’s also represented the Netherlands internationally and has won multiple titles.
Off the pitch, Depay is a musician who has released multiple rap albums named “Memphis Depay”. He’s also a fashion icon known to attend fashion shows during Paris Fashion Week.
As you can see, number 18 is worn by some of the most talented and interesting players in the world of soccer. Whether it’s on or off the pitch, these players bring excitement and entertainment to the beautiful game.
Up-and-Coming Number 18 Players to Watch
Now that we’ve explored the top players currently wearing number 18, let’s take a look at some promising young players who could be the next stars to wear this famous number.
In the Premier League, one young player who stands out is Bukayo Saka of Arsenal. He’s a dynamic winger capable of playing on either flank and has caught the attention of many soccer fans worldwide with his impressive performances. Another young player to watch is Sandro Tonali of AC Milan. He’s a central midfielder known for his technical skills, vision, and passing accuracy.
In South America, one player to keep an eye on is Kaio Jorge of Santos. He’s a young striker with speed, power, and impressive finishing ability. Another rising star in South American soccer is Thiago Almada of Velez Sarsfield. He’s an attacking midfielder with great technical skills and an eye for the goal.
Finally, in North America, Jonathan David of Lille is one young talent who stands out. He’s a Canadian forward who’s already drawn comparisons to some of the greatest strikers in soccer history. He’s known for his immaculate finishing and impressive technical skills.
Memorable Moments from Number 18 Players
Finally, look at some of the most memorable moments from players who’ve worn number 18 throughout their careers.
One of the most memorable game-winning goals from a number 18 player occurred during the 2012 Champions League Final. Chelsea’s Didier Drogba, who wore number 18, scored the equalizer and the winning penalty against Bayern Munich to secure the trophy for Chelsea.
Another memorable moment from a number 18 player occurred during the 2005 Champions League Final. Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, who wore number 18, delivered a stunning assist to set up the equalizing goal against AC Milan, helping Liverpool secure the trophy in an unforgettable comeback victory.
Unforgettable Saves and Defensive Plays
Finally, let’s not forget the incredible defensive plays and saves made by number 18 players. One of the most famous moments occurred during the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals when Uruguay’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, who wore number 18, made an unbelievable save to keep his team in the game against France.
Number 18 may seem like just another digit to some, but for soccer fans worldwide, it represents much more. Being assigned this number is a great honor, as it signifies that the player is a versatile team player capable of making a significant impact on the field. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the significance, history, and most famous players who’ve worn number 18 in this article. Who’s your favorite number 18 player? Let us know in the comments!