ADM, Market

What’s In A Number?

whats in a number

How do players get their numbers?

As we touched in our last blog ‘What’s Your Number’ blog, many high profile athletes playing team sport get to choose their favoured number. However, other not as famous players get left with a number available within the squad.

Over the years, there have been many great players that have become synonymous with a particular number.
Not just in football but also in sports like basketball, particularly in the NBA.

However, when it comes to players numbers. There is a player that stands out from the rest.
Cristiano Ronaldo recently moved from Juventus back to Premier League giants Manchester United.
Football legend Cristiano Ronaldo has taken a number to another level, branding himself with the CR7 brand from wearing the number 7 jersey.
However, Ronaldo’s move to Manchester United would mean he’d be given an alternative squad number.
But, Edinson Cavani was said to have shown respect to Cristiano Ronaldo by giving up the number 7 shirt to his new Manchester United teammate. However, a rumour that Ronaldo offered Cavani a significant amount of money to relinquish the number 7 jersey was going around. Although Cavani agreed to hand over the number 7 jersey, the Premier League had the final say as numbers are not to be changed once the season starts. But, given the marketing power behind the CR7 brand, the Premier League were not going to agree to it, were they? The short answer is yes, and the club gave Cavani his number 21, which is the number he wears for the Uruguay national team.

What number do the best soccer players wear?

The following numbers highlight some of the most famous football players and the numbers they have become synonymous with:

Pele 10

Moore 6

Cruyff 14

Best 7

Dalglish 7

Maradona 10

Maldini 3

Shearer 9

Ronaldo 7

Messi 10

Beckham 7

Many of the best soccer players wear 7 or 10. In recent years most of the greatest players usually play in the positions associated with these two numbers.

Have we missed out on your favourite football player? Let us know who your favourite footballer is?

Numerous football players did not start their footballing careers wearing the numbered jersey that they’re famous for. 

One of the most famous examples is the Dutch professional football player Johan Cruyff.

Cruyff did not wear the number 14 jersey for the first six years of his football career. Between 1964 and 1970, Johan Cruyff wore number 9 until his usual shirt had gone missing, and he wore a spare shirt with the now-iconic number 14 on it. After winning the game, Johan Cruyff insisted the team wore the same numbers for the following games. Cruyff became a club legend at Ajax and Barcelona, and in 2007 Ajax decided to retire the number 14 jersey in honour of Johan Cruyff.

Many other great sportspeople have had their numbers retired at football clubs that they famously played for. For example, Paolo Maldini, famous for the number 3 jersey at AC Milan, the number 3 shirt has not been worn since he retired in 2009.  

World Cup winner Bobby Moore, his number 6 jersey for West Ham was retired in 2008, and Napoli retired the number 10 jersey in 2000 after Maradona made the number his own whilst playing for the great club.

However, you do not need to be a legend of the game or retired for a club to withdraw a particular shirt number. Take Jade Bellingham for instance, he wore the number 17 shirt during his time at Birmingham City. However, when he moved to the German team Borussia Dortmund, Birmingham City retired the number 22 football jersey to inspire others coming through the club’s academy.

Check out what football shirts are available from ADM, 

Is football the only sport where great players are linked to a particular numbered jersey?

The short answer is no, football is not the only sport that legends of a game are associated with or created an iconic number for themselves. 

Thake Basketball, for example, several NBA players are also famous for the numbered jersey they wear. Le Bron James has won multiple NBA titles and made the number 6 jersey for the Lakers his own. The late Kobe Bryant numbers 8 and 24 are immortalised by the Lakers.

However, the most famous NBA player is Michael Jordan and his number 23 jersey. Michael Jordan chose the number 23 jersey after playing in the same team as his brother, who at the time wore the number 45 jersey, the same number Michael had played in all his career up to that point. 45 was his favourite number but, he did not want to upset his brother, so he divided 45 by two and rounded the number up to the now-famous number 23 jersey, and as they say, the rest is history.

Michael Jordan won six NBA titles for the Chicago Bulls, making the number 23 basketball jersey his own, plus to this day, the number 23 triggers memories of Jordan moving elegantly across the basketball courts in the NBA.

What are traditional values in sport?

Not all sports have seen a move away from the traditional model of numbers being associated with certain positions on the field of play. For example, Rugby Union has kept its traditional values, when it comes to players numbers. 

Unlike football, Rugby Union players wear traditionally numbered rugby jerseys, depending on the position they play. The following numbers depict the player’s position in Rugby Union and the corresponding printed number.

1 – Loosehead prop

2 – Hooker

3 – Tighthead prop

4 – Lock / second row

5 – Lock / second row

6 – Blindside flanker

7 – Open-side flanker

8 – Number 8

9 – Scrum Half

10 – Fly Half

11 – Left Wing

12 – Inside centre

12 – Outside Centre

14 – Right Wing

15 – Full Back

Explore ADM’s rugby shirts online today.

Are you looking to add your numbers to a new football kit, basketball attire, or rugby kit?

Try our online customisation tool today. It allows you to choose your number, style and colour, plus you can add it to your chosen football kit, rugby kit or basketball gear. Choose from several modern fonts. Printing numbers on the back of your playing jerseys and shorts will add that extra touch of customisation. They will help your team stand out from the competition and make a name for themselves like their heroes.

join our newsletter now

Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

Related Posts