Jersey Numbers

If you’re wearing jersey number 10, you must be good right?! Some famous players have worn the number 10 jersey such as Pele of Brazil, Diego Maradona of Argentina and Zinedine Zidane of France. Did you know that jersey numbers were first introduced in 1928? Not only were they used to easily identify players, but they also identified positions on the field.

The following number assignment was typical, especially when the 2-3-5 formation was used:

  1. Goalkeeper
  2. Right Full Back (Right side center back)
  3. Left Full Back (Left side center back)
  4. Right Half Back (Right side defensive midfield)
  5. Center Half Back (Center defensive midfield)
  6. Left Half Back (Left side defensive midfield)
  7. Outside Right (Right winger)
  8. Inside Right (Right attacking midfield)
  9. Center Forward
  10. Inside Left (Left attacking midfield)
  11. Outside Left (Left winger)

As formations evolved, jersey numbers moved with the players. For example, the now popular 4-4-2 formation saw defenders wearing 2, 5, 6, and 3, midfieldiers wearing 7, 4,8, and 11, and forwards wearing 9 and 10.

Now squad numbers are used, where players are assigned numbers for the entire season. And the rules of which number a player chooses have become less strict leading to some unique numbers!

When Inter Milan signed the Brazilian striker Ronaldo, they gave him the jersey number 9, which was Chilean forward Ivan Zamorano’s number. Zamorano was given number 18 instead. However, he always thought of himself as number 9 so he added a plus sign in between his number 18, 1+8!