In a match against Sheffield Wednesday in 1928, the brilliant Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman popularised the printing of team numbers on the back of jerseys. His goal was to make his players conscious of the importance of paying attention to their respective field locations.
Starting with the goalkeeper, who wore the number 1 shirt, the numbers were assigned in ascending order. Back then, teams all around the world used the 2-3-5 configuration most frequently. As a result, the team’s primary strikers wore the numbers 9 and 10 on the back of their shirts.
The custom of numbering, which the English football association first condemned, has since evolved into one of the most iconic things one can associate with a footballer. Fans eagerly anticipate learning the player’s assigned jersey number whenever a team makes a new signing official.
This shows how much weight these numbers have been given. The money made from shirt sales is a big topic of discussion in today’s football world.
The best footballers to ever grace the pitch have worn the number 10 jersey, regardless of the position. In light of that, let’s examine the top ten athletes who have ever donned the number 10 shirt during their brilliant careers.
Throughout his career, “Gaucho” wore a variety of jersey numbers, but his best years were spent with Barcelona, where he wore the enduring number 10. A whole generation looked up to the slick, flamboyant midfielder, who also helped the Catalans usher in a new era.
He was able to captivate football fans with his elasticos and no-look passes because he possessed all the tricks in the book. He won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and was named FIFA’s Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
Throughout his professional career, Ronaldinho did not consistently put up 30 goals or have a superb work ethic, but the delight he gave when he had the ball at his feet made him one of the most adored athletes of all time.
4 Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane is a complex figure, and it’s challenging to put into words. One of the best attacking midfielders of his generation, the Frenchman was the most graceful football player one had ever seen. His pirouettes were works of beauty, and his goal for Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen is still regarded as one of the greatest goals in history.
The legendary former Real Madrid player was highly praised by Alfredo Di Stefano, who said of him, “He makes it worthwhile going into the stadium.” Such was the charisma and grace of the person who, regrettably, saw his career come to an end after being dismissed against Italy in the 2006 World Cup final.
The Argentine represents the core principle of wearing the number 10 on the back, despite not having played in a typical number 10 position during his career. According to legend, “La Pulga” is/was the best player on the club and typically wears the desired shirt.
Many detractors have claimed that Messi cannot be considered “the best of all-time” since he does not have a World Cup to his credit, but thankfully he already has one. We also need to look at the statistics and the sheer volume of trophies that he has won to see why he is so brilliant.
2.) Diego Maradona
More than a football player, Diego Armando Maradona was a legend. For both his clubs, Boca Juniors and Napoli, he served as a saviour. Maradona was a one-man army who was able to become one of the greatest players the world has ever seen.
He scored a lot of remarkable goals while wearing the number 10 jersey, including the ‘goal of the century’ against England in 1986. The Argentinian superstar was a brilliant trequartista with unmatched dribbling, a typical number 10.
The number 10 jersey was retired by Napoli in honour of their best player. He has secured a spot among the greats of the game thanks to his vision, goal-scoring prowess, and legacy.
According to a remark from Michel Platini, “To play like Pele is to play like God.” The Brazilian, the first footballing mega star, captivated the world’s attention with his incredible wizardry and superb goal-scoring performances. He wore the number 10 jersey for Brazil, who he helped win a World Cup record three times.
The attacking prowess of the Brazil team, which included Pele, is still unsurpassed by any team since. Brazil is sometimes recognized as the greatest team in history. Pele earned the moniker “King of Football” thanks to his incredible goal total and trophy collection.