No other football jersey is as famous or as closely associated with a particular type of player as the coveted jersey number 10. The number 10 is often worn by a team’s chief playmaker. It indicates a player who pulls the strings from the middle of the park and scores goals consistently. In football history, many great dynasties have been built around the number 10. In this article, we will look at five famous football players who wore the jersey number 10.
Ronaldinho, arguably, gave the jersey number 10 a new meaning with his inventiveness and crazy skills. His showboating was never a distraction, as he regularly scored goals while wearing the jersey number 10 at Barcelona. He also famously got a standing ovation from the Santiago Bernabéu faithful for his outstanding performance in an El Clásico victory.
Ronaldinho scored 98 goals in 207 games for Barcelona and won the Ballon d’Or in 2005. He also won the World Cup in 2002, representing Brazil.
#4 Zinedine Zidane
Zidane never wore the number 10 in club football, but it was his favoured jersey with the France national team. In 1998, he scored a brace in the final wearing the number 10 and France won the World Cup. Two years later, he was named man of the tournament in EURO 2000 as he guided France to European Championship glory.
Zidane did not participate in the 2002 World Cup, and France were knocked out in the group stage. Four years later, Zidane was the man of the tournament in the 2006 World Cup, after which he retired from football. Zidane scored 31 goals for France, including a record three goals in the World Cup finals.
#3 Diego Maradona
Maradona was, without doubt, the greatest footballer of his generation, and arguably the most worshipped footballer of all time. He was also the true successor for Pele and reached two World Cup finals, winning one in 1986. After a successful individual career at Barcelona, Maradona moved to Napoli and almost single-handedly won them the Serie A title.
Maradona’s impact at Napoli is unmatched, as they still have not won a league title, even after almost three decades since Maradona’s departure. If not for his drug addiction and troubled personal life, Maradona would have surely won more accolades in his career.
#2 Lionel Messi
In the past decade or so, the number 10 shirt has become so synonymous with Messi. Many fans want Barcelona and Argentina to retire the jersey permanently once the little magician bids goodbye to the game. Messi first wore the number 10 shirt for Barcelona in 2008 and since then he has made the shirt his own with unforgettable performances.
For Argentina, Messi had to endure many disappointments with the number 10 shirt as the team lost three consecutive major finals. He finally got his redemption in 2021 as Messi top-scored and Argentina won the Copa América.
The man who helped football become a global sport, Pele was a well-rounded forward who always found a way to score goals. As a teenager, he lit up the 1958 World Cup and even scored in the final, still the youngest to-do so. He won the World Cup again in 1962 and a record third victory in 1970.
He was a phenomenon at Santos, as he broke all existing records with his clinical goalscoring ability. He represented Santos from 1956 to 1974, scoring over 500 goals in the process. He was named as the “FIFA player of the century” along with Diego Maradona in 2000.