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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Meaning Behind Soccer Shirt Numbers – Ultimate Guide

Soccer shirt numbers have a significant role in the sport and are an important part of a player’s identity. Soccer shirts use numbers to identify players on the field and differentiate them from one another. Players often choose the number they wear based on personal preference, position, or their past number preference. Some players choose to wear a number that has a special meaning to them. The number they wore in their youth or the number worn by a favorite player. Let’s dive deep to understand more about Soccer Shirt Numbers.

Soccer Shirt Numbers

Certain positions in soccer are traditionally associated with specific numbers. For example, goalkeepers typically wear the number 1. Defenders wear numbers 2 to 5. Midfielders wear numbers 6 to 8, and forwards wear numbers 9 to 11. However, these associations are not strict. Players can choose to wear any number they like, regardless of their position.

Many of the sport’s all-time great playmakers, such as Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi, have worn the number 10, making it one of the most popular shirt numbers in soccer.

Iconic players like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham have donned the number 7, contributing to its popularity. 

Forwards often choose the number 9, which is associated with the center forward or striker position, typically the player who scores the most goals.

Must Read: How many players are on a soccer field

The untold secret behind Soccer Shirt Numbers

Soccer shirt numbers have a rich history and special significance for players and fans alike. While many aspects of the selection of shirt numbers are well known, there are also a few untold secrets that have helped shape the tradition of shirt numbers in soccer. Here are a few of the untold secrets behind soccer shirt numbers:

The origins of shirt numbers

Soccer introduced the use of shirt numbers in the early 20th century to aid referees in tracking players on the field. The first recorded use of shirt numbers was in a game between Sunderland and Aston Villa in August 1933.

Personal significance 

While many players choose their shirt number based on the position they play, others select a number that holds personal significance for them. For instance, some players choose the number of their childhood heroes or the number of a loved one.

Must Read: How to become a soccer player

Soccer number 10

In soccer, players regard the number 10 as one of the most prestigious shirt numbers, which is exclusively assigned to the team’s creative genius or playmaker. Some of the greatest players in the history of the sport have worn the number 10, including Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Lionel Messi.

Soccer number 10 is often associated with playmakers and creative players who have exceptional skill and vision on the ball. Fans often view the number 10 as the star player on the team, and players who wear this number are often expected to deliver moments of magic on the pitch.

Soccer number 7 

Similar to the number 10, the number 7 is also considered to be a prestigious shirt number, often reserved for the team’s star player. Some of the greatest players to wear the number 7 include Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, and Luis Figo.

Soccer Shirt Number 7
Soccer Shirt Number 7

The number 7 is often associated with attacking players who are expected to score goals and provide a spark of creativity on the pitch. Fans often view the number 7 as a sign of a player’s quality and expect players who wear this number to deliver exciting performances.

Soccer number 9

The soccer number 9 is typically reserved for the team’s striker and is often associated with goals and success. Some of the greatest goal-scorers in the history of the sport have worn the number 9, including Alan Shearer, Gabriel Batistuta, and Raul.

Soccer Shirt Number 9
Soccer Shirt Number 9
  • Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland national team)
  • Luis Suárez (Atlético Madrid and Uruguay national team)

The number 9 is traditionally associated with center forwards and strikers who are responsible for scoring goals. Fans often view the number 9 as the team’s primary goalscorer and expect players who wear this number to be lethal in front of the goal.

While many aspects of soccer shirt numbers are well-known. These secrets offer a glimpse into the rich history and significance of this important tradition in the sport. Whether a player chooses a number with personal significance or receives a number based on their position, the shirt number plays a vital role in shaping a player’s identity and symbolizes their position in the sport.

1. Why have numbers 7,9 and 10 become in high demand in soccer?

The numbers 7, 9, and 10 have become in high demand in soccer for several reasons. Here are a few of the factors that have contributed to their prestige:


Some of the greatest players in soccer history have been associated with these numbers, contributing to their rich history in the sport. As time passed, they gained prestige, and many players aspire to wear these numbers on their shirts.

Soccer Position

In football, teams typically assign the numbers 7, 9, and 10 to important positions like winger, striker, and playmaker. These positions earn their reputation for creativity, goal-scoring ability, and success, thereby enhancing the prestige of these numbers

Iconic players 

Some of the greatest players in the history of the sport have worn the numbers 7, 9, and 10, which has helped to cement their reputation as prestigious numbers. For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Diego Maradona have all worn the numbers 7, 9, and 10, respectively.

The numbers 7, 9, and 10 have also become iconic outside of soccer, appearing in popular culture and advertising. This has helped to further cement their reputation as prestigious numbers.

In conclusion, the numbers 7, 9, and 10 have become in high demand in soccer due to a combination of tradition, position, iconic players, and popular culture. Whether a player wears one of these numbers or not, they are an important part of the sport and represent a legacy of success and excellence in soccer. 

2. How do you relate soccer numbers to soccer positions?

Over time, the relationship between soccer numbers and positions has evolved, but most leagues generally follow some general guidelines. Here are the most common associations between soccer numbers and positions: 

Goalkeeper (1-12)

Goalkeepers typically wear one of the lower numbers, from 1 to 12. The number 1 is the most traditional number for goalkeepers. 

Defenders (2-6) 

In most cases, defenders wear numbers in the range of 2 to 6. The right-back typically wears the number 2, the left-back wears the number 3, the center-back wears the number 4, and the center-back wears the number 5. The number 6 can be worn by either a center-back or a defensive midfielder.

Midfielders (7-14) 

In general, midfielders usually wear numbers ranging from 7 to 14. Teams typically assign the number 7 to the right winger. The central midfielder wears the number 8. The striker wears the number 9, the playmaker wears the number 10, and the left winger wears the number 11.

Forwards (9-14) 

In the range of 9 to 14, forwards often wear numbers, reserving number 9 for the center forward, number 10 for the playmaker, and number 11 for the left winger.

These are general guidelines and may vary depending on the league, team, or individual player. Some players may choose to wear a specific number because it holds personal significance, while others may wear a number that is not traditionally associated with their position. Additionally, some teams may use unconventional numbering systems, such as assigning all of their players odd or even numbers. Despite these variations, the relationship between soccer numbers and positions remains an important part of the sport.

Myth and fact of the selection of Soccer Shirt numbers 

There are many myths and facts surrounding the selection of soccer shirt numbers, and it can be difficult to separate the two. 

Here are a few common myths and facts about soccer shirt numbers:

Myth: Shirt numbers are assigned based on the player’s skill level.

Fact: This is not true. While some top players may choose a shirt number that they feel represents their status, the number is not a reflection of the player’s skill level. Instead, teams typically assign shirt numbers based on the player’s position on the field.

Myth: Players choose their own shirt numbers.

Fact: While players may provide input, coaches or managers typically make the final decision regarding the selection of shirt numbers. The number must also conform to the regulations set by the league or governing body.

Myth: Two players on the same team cannot wear the same shirt number.

Fact: This is not true. While it is uncommon for two players on the same team to wear the same number. It is permissible as long as it does not create confusion for the referees or fans.

Common Myth

Myth: Soccer regards the number 13 as unlucky.

Fact: Certain players and fans hold this belief, but it is not an official rule. Many players wear the number 13 without any problems, and some even consider it lucky.

While there are many myths and facts surrounding the selection of soccer shirt numbers, the most important factor is that the number conforms to the regulations set by the league or governing body. The shirt number holds personal significance for players. It can also be assigned based on their position. Regardless, it plays a crucial role in their identity. The number represents their place in the sport. 

Ultimately, the choice of shirt number is a personal one, and many players choose to wear a number that has special meaning to them or that they associate with success and achievement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the significance of soccer shirt numbers?

Soccer uses shirt numbers to identify and distinguish players on the field. They also play a role in the tactical organization of teams and can reflect a player’s position and importance on the team. 

2. Can a player choose any shirt number they want?

Not always. In certain leagues, the coach or team assigns the shirt numbers, while in others, players enjoy more freedom in choosing their numbers. Restrictions often prohibit players from selecting a number already taken by a teammate on the same team.

3. What is the most prestigious soccer shirt number?

Soccer enthusiasts often consider the numbers 7, 9, and 10 as the most prestigious shirt numbers. These positions are famous for their ability to be creative, score goals, and achieve success. As a result, these numbers have gained a higher level of prestige.

4. Are soccer shirt numbers the same for every league and team?

No. The relationship between shirt numbers and positions can vary depending on the league and team. Some leagues and teams may have specific numbering systems, while others may have more flexibility.

5. Can a player change their shirt number during their career?

Yes, a player can change their shirt number during their career. Either due to a transfer to a new team or a personal preference. Certain restrictions exist, such as prohibiting players from choosing a number already taken by a teammate on the same team.

6. Do soccer shirt numbers have any impact on a player’s performance?

No, soccer shirt numbers do not have any direct impact on a player’s performance. However, some players may place a great deal of importance on their shirt number and view it as a source of motivation or pride.


Soccer shirt numbers play a significant role in the sport as they provide a unique identifier for each player on the field. From the prestigious numbers 7, 9, and 10, to the tactical organization of teams, shirt numbers offer a glimpse into the player’s position and importance. It’s fascinating to note that some leagues and teams have strict numbering systems. While others have more flexibility and allow players to choose their own numbers. Regardless of the shirt number, on-field performance and skill are what truly matter. Appreciating the beautiful game of soccer involves understanding the significance of shirt numbers.

Crownee FC
Crownee FChttps://crowneefc.com
Our team consists of experienced sports journalists, former professional players, and soccer enthusiasts who possess a deep understanding of the sport. We have dedicated years to studying and analyzing the game. Honing our expertise to ensure that the content we deliver is of the highest quality. Our team of experts works tirelessly to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate information. We ensure that you stay up-to-date with all the latest developments in soccer. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply looking to stay informed, Crownee FC is the perfect place for you. We believe that credibility is paramount when it comes to delivering soccer news and analysis. Our authors are well-versed in sports. Also, our authors possess a wealth of professional experience and knowledge. They have worked with reputable sports organizations, provided commentary for major matches, and have been recognized for their contributions to the field. Chat with our Author You can also contact us directly through our email at contactus@crowneefc.com. We are available during business hours and will respond to your message within 24-48 hours.

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