Several renowned football players have worn the number 10 jersey, indicating their status as premier playmakers. Notable figures include Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Lionel Messi, each contributing to the position’s legendary legacy. These players have made an Impression In the game.
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Players with The Number 10 Jersey
- Diego Maradona
- Roberto Baggio
- Michel Platini
- Ferenc Puskas
- Lionel Messi
- Kylian Mbappé
- Luka Modrić
- Wayne Rooney
1. Pelé (Brazil, Santos, New York Cosmos)
Pelé was a legendary footballer renowned as one of the greatest players in history. Playing as a forward, he gained fame for his extraordinary career that spanned from his debut with Santos at 15 to his international success with the Brazil national team.
Pelé won three FIFA World Cups (1958, 1962, and 1970), and earned the nickname “O Rei” (The King). His prolific goal-scoring, with 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, remains a Guinness World Record.
Notably, he led Santos to Copa Libertadores victories and played an important part in popularizing the phrase “The Beautiful Game.”
Beyond his goal-scoring prowess, Pelé’s versatility stood out. He’s proficient at striking with both feet, and he can play between striker and playmaker roles.
His on-field achievements made him a global icon, and his charisma extended beyond football, influencing acting and commercial ventures.
Post-retirement in 1977, Pelé continued to impact football as a worldwide ambassador and was named honorary president of the New York Cosmos in 2010.
2. Diego Maradona (Barcelona, SS Napoli, Argentina)
Diego Maradona was an Argentine football legend celebrated as one of the game’s greatest players. He’s one of the most famous football players to ever wear the number 10 jersey.
Operating as an advanced playmaker in the iconic number 10 position, Maradona’s unique combination of vision, passing, ball control, and dribbling skills set him apart.
His small stature provided agility, earning him the nickname El Pibe de Oro (“The Golden Boy”). Also, his leadership on the field significantly influenced his team’s performance.
Throughout his club career, Maradona made headlines, becoming the first player to set the world record transfer fee twice.
His stints with Barcelona and Napoli were Impressive, leading Napoli to Serie A titles. However, off-field challenges, including a ban on cocaine use, marked his time with Napoli.
Internationally, Maradona earned 91 caps for Argentina, captaining the team to victory in the 1986 World Cup. His quarter-final performance against England included the infamous “Hand of God” goal and the stunning “Goal of the Century.”
Post-playing career, Maradona ventured into coaching, overseeing Argentina’s national team and clubs in various countries, including Al Wasl in the UAE Pro-League and Dynamo Brest in Belarus.
His coaching journey also included leading Gimnasia de La Plata in the Argentine Primera División until his passing in 2020.
3. Roberto Baggio (AFC Fiorentina, FC Internazionale, Bracia Calcio)
Roberto Baggio is a former Italian footballer, and he’s one of the best football players to have ever worn the number 10 jersey In football history.
Baggio displayed his exceptional abilities primarily playing as a second striker or attacking midfielder. And he’s widely regarded as one of the greatest players in history.
His quality included precise free-kicks, dazzling dribbling, and prolific goal-scoring. The football maestro’s club career featured stints with seven Italian clubs, including Fiorentina, Juventus, and Inter Milan.
Baggio won two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia, and a UEFA Cup. Throughout his illustrious career, Baggio scored 425 goals, leaving an enduring legacy in the world of football.
Baggio’s impact was recognized in numerous accolades, such as his fourth-place finish in the FIFA Player of the Century poll in 1999 and being named in the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002. His international career saw him represent Italy in 56 matches, scoring 27 goals.
He was instrumental in Italy’s third-place finish in the 1990 FIFA World Cup and led them to the final in 1994, despite the heartbreak of missing a decisive penalty in the shootout against Brazil. His World Cup journey continued in 1998, where he scored twice.
4. Michel Platini (AS Saint-Étienne, Juventus FC, France)
Michel Platini is a French football icon, recognized as one of the greatest players in football history. His remarkable career saw him playing for clubs like Nancy, Saint-Étienne, and Juventus.
Nicknamed “Le Roi” (The King), Platini’s goal-scoring prowess won him the Serie A Capocannoniere award three times, and he played an important role in Juventus’s triumphant 1984–85 European Cup campaign.
Platini was also a key figure in the French national team, leading them to victory in the 1984 European Championship.
His contributions include being the tournament’s top scorer and best player. Together with midfielders Giresse, Fernández, and Tigana, he formed the “carré magique” (magic square) of the French team in the 1980s.
Post-retirement, Platini moved into coaching, guiding the France national team, and co-organizing the 1998 World Cup. In 2007, he made history as the first former player elected as the president of UEFA.
However, his later career faced controversy when, as UEFA president in 2015, he was banned from football involvement until 2023 due to ethics violations.
5. Ferenc Puskas (Real Madrid)
Ferenc Puskás faced a rough journey to Real Madrid. Initially, after refusing to return to Hungary, he played some unofficial games for Espanyol.
A two-year UEFA ban followed, hindering his European play. Attempts to join Italian clubs failed due to concerns about age and weight.
Manchester United considered him post-Munich Air Disaster but faced language and foreign player restrictions. However, Puskás, at 31, found his home in Real Madrid.
In his debut La Liga season, he amazed with four hat-tricks. Over eight seasons with Real, Puskás scored 156 goals in 180 La Liga games, winning five consecutive La Liga titles and the Copa del Generalísimo in 1962.
His European Cup journey featured remarkable performances, including a 1960 final hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt, securing a 7–3 victory.
In subsequent campaigns, he notched hat-tricks but faced a defeat in the 1962 final against Benfica. Puskás was also an integral part of Real’s European success, reaching the 1966 final, though he didn’t play in the decisive game.
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6. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona, Inter Miami CF)
Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer and captain of Inter Miami and the Argentina national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players ever, and one of the best players In football history to wear the number 110 jersey.
Messi has secured numerous awards, including a record eight Ballon d’Ors and six European Golden Shoes. Until 2021, he spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, winning an impressive 34 trophies.
Messi’s goal-scoring feats are unmatched, holding records for most goals in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. He scored over 800 career goals for both club and country.
Messi’s journey began when he moved from Argentina to join Barcelona at 13. His impact was quick, winning the first treble in Spanish football at 22.
He became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer and won consecutive Ballons d’Or. After a stint at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi joined Inter Miami in 2023, winning the Leagues Cup.
Internationally, he led Argentina to victories in the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, earning accolades like the Golden Ball.
7. Neymar (Al Hilal SFC, Brazil)
Neymar is one of the most famous football players with the number 10 jersey. The Brazilian football star made the headlines with his surprising move to Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal in August 2023, signing a two-year contract worth €90 million.
His annual salary of €150 million at Al Hilal is six times more than what he earned at PSG. While Barcelona showed genuine interest, other top European clubs were deterred by his high salary and expected transfer fee.
Neymar left Europe without a Ballon d’Or and additional Champions League titles after 2015. Joining Al Hilal, Neymar expressed optimism about the Saudi league, even comparing it favorably to the French league.
However, his stint faced a setback when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture in October 2023 while on international duty. As a result, Al Hilal deregistered Neymar in January 2024 due to his season-ending injury.
Looking back at his international career, Neymar made his mark with Brazil, debuting in 2010 and achieving significant success, including winning the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2016 Olympic gold.
Despite controversies and setbacks, Neymar became Brazil’s all-time top scorer in FIFA World Cup qualification matches in September 2021.
In the 2022 World Cup, Neymar equaled Pelé’s goal record but faced a season-ending injury in October 2023, impacting his campaign with Al Hilal and ruling him out for the rest of the season.
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8. Kylian Mbappé (France)
Kylian Mbappé, the French football sensation, rose to prominence with remarkable achievements in both domestic and international levels.
And he’s one of the best soccer players to wear the number 10 jersey. In the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, he scored five crucial goals for France to secure victory and earn a spot in the Team of the Tournament.
His senior national team journey commenced in March 2017, when he made his debut at just 18 years old, making him the second youngest French player ever.
Mbappé’s impact soared during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he became the youngest French goalscorer in World Cup history, contributing significantly to France’s triumph.
The forward continued to Impress, notably scoring his 100th career goal in 2019 and receiving the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award.
The period from 2021 to 2023 showed Mbappé’s stellar form, including a Nations League title and an outstanding performance in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, where he scored four goals against Kazakhstan.
His role in France’s successful 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign demonstrated his leadership qualities and goal-scoring prowess, securing the Golden Boot with eight goals.
9. Luka Modrić (Real Madrid, Croatia National Football Team)
Luka Modrić is a Croatian footballer, known for his exceptional skills as a midfielder. Currently playing for Real Madrid in La Liga and captaining the Croatia national team, Modrić’s versatility allows him to excel as a central, attacking, or defensive midfielder.
He’s widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders ever and hailed as Croatia’s finest footballer. Modrić’s journey began with Dinamo Zagreb in 2003, followed by notable stints at Tottenham Hotspur and his £30 million move to Real Madrid in 2012.
Modrić’s impact at Real Madrid includes winning three consecutive Champions League titles from 2015–16 to 2017–18. He also won the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 2018.
Luka has secured 24 major trophies with Real Madrid, boasting five UEFA Champions League titles, three La Liga titles, and two Copa del Rey titles.
On the international stage, Modrić has been an anchor for Croatia since 2006, contributing to multiple major tournaments, including Euro and World Cup campaigns. He led Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final and won the Golden Ball, and the Bronze Ball at the 2022 World Cup.
10. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, Everton)
Wayne Rooney is an English football manager and former player, most recently managing Birmingham City. Recognized as one of his generation’s finest, Rooney holds the record for most goals in Manchester United’s history and was England’s leading goal-scorer from 2015 to 2023.
Rooney’s time at Manchester United was illustrious, winning 16 trophies, including the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, and more.
His 253 goals for United make him the club’s top scorer. While primarily a forward, Rooney showed his versatility in various midfield roles.
Internationally, he debuted for England at 17, becoming their youngest-ever goal-scorer. With 53 goals in 120 caps, he is England’s second-highest goal-scorer.
Rooney’s accolades include multiple England Player of the Year awards, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, and FWA Footballer of the Year.
He secured the Goal of the Season award three times, and his iconic bicycle kick against Manchester City in 2011 won the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards Best Goal.
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