I never really thought about what jersey numbers my girls wore. The first day of U9 they handed out uniforms smallest to largest and that’s how the girls got their numbers. They’ve had those numbers now for 3 or 4 years and have them embroidered on backpacks and jackets.
Our club is about to get new uniforms and our coach thought it would be a great time to reassign all the girls according to their positions. As usual, I had no clue what that meant so I went straight to the source…Google of course. Here’s what I found…
The jersey number traditionally denotes the position of a soccer player. Despite the establishment of squad numbers, jerseys 1 to 11 are often given to the first choice line-up according to their positions on the field.
Below is the traditional numbering of players in a modern 4-2-3-1 formation:
1 – Goalkeeper
2 – Right fullback
3 – Left fullback
4 – Center back
5 – Center back
6 – Defending/Holding midfielder
7 – Right midfielder/wingers
8 – Central/Box-to-box midfielder
9 – Striker
10 – Attacking midfielder/Playmaker
11 – Left midfielder/wingers
But there are really three numbers that have special meaning…
The Jersey number 10 is now worn exclusively by the greatest players. The soccer scoreboards showed that it was worn by the legends of the game, Pele, Maradona, Zidane are only a few to name, and now it is worn by Lionel Messi, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Rooney etc. Jersey number 10 is now regarded as a legacy and is given to only those who deserve this honor. Players like Messi, Kaka, Rooney and Ronaldinho certainly are the deserving ones as they brought laurels for their respective countries. Players who wear number 10 are regarded as great players who have changed the game in some way, and who raised the bar of the game for the future.
Number 7 is worn by Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Ronaldo is known as one of the best players in the world. Although some people think that he is overrated and that fans love him more for his looks and because he has the same name as Brazil’s Ronaldo. I disagree though; Ronaldo is a great player and has brought a lot to the game of soccer. David Beckham, when started his career also wore the number 7 jersey, but he does not wear the same number now.
Two players come to mind when you hear or see the number 23; Michael Jordan and David Beckham. Beckham, after moving to Real Madrid, wore the number 23 jersey as a tribute to Michael Jordan. He wears the same number when he plays his the national team, England.
4. Number 9
Though this number is not famous right now, at one point in time it was. Number 9 was worn by the Brazilian footballer, Ronaldo. He has now made way for the greats of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but he was outstanding in his day. He was a part of the Brazilian winning team in thew 2002 World Cup.
Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my little soccer girl was so excited when her coach listed her as the mythical#10. Not sure if she’s going to change, but she might even be to convince me that it’s worth a new jacket and backpack.