Each team needs a star to set the pace for the game and provide that extra spark that can make the difference between winning and losing. Creative, technically gifted, this player excels in all areas of the game and is, in a way, the team’s conductor. We have selected ten players who have worn number 10 throughout their careers. A necessarily subjective list, so many of them have sported this emblematic bib.
The 10 most emblematic numbers in history
His real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé is considered by many observers to be the greatest footballer of all time. Elected athlete of the century by the IOC, crowned player of the twentieth century by FIFA, top scorer of the “Seleçao” with 77 achievements, Pelé remains to date the only player to have won three World Cups. A true virtuoso of the ball, “O Rei” was endowed with exceptional technical qualities and a vision of the game. With Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo, Pelé is part of the very closed circle of players who scored in four World Cups.
Now honor to the one who challenges Pelé the title of the best player in history. Small in size but immense in talent, “El Pibe de Oro” (“The Golden Kid”) was the main architect of Argentina’s victory in the 1986 World Cup. No one has forgotten this goal scored against the ‘England in the quarterfinals and marred by a hand foul not sanctioned by the referee. Declaration of the interested party: “I scored this goal a little with the head and a little with the … hand of God! “. As if to be forgiven, Maradona scored, a few minutes later, the “goal of the century”: a fantastic ride of more than fifty meters in the English defense, eliminating in passing five opponents powerless to counter it, including the English goalkeeper Peter Shilton.s
Probably the best player in the world currently active. Disconcerting dribbling, incisive passes, millimeter strikes, Lionel Messi is a master in the art of destabilizing the opponent through extraordinary technical gestures. Collecting trophies as well as goals, the quadruple Ballon d’Or probably has only one regret: not having led the Albiceleste to World Cup victory. A little glimpse of his immense talent.
With 52 goals in 72 games played with Brazil between 1976 and 1988, Zico, whose real name is Arthur Antunes Coimbra, is one of the greatest players in the history of “Seleçao”. If he has not won a single major trophy with the Auriverde selection, the “White Pelé” has, in particular, gleaned four Brazilian Champion titles with his Flamingo club. He had the whole panoply of great players: confusing dribbling, millimeter passes, innate elegance. With a magical right foot, Zico was second to none to shoot set pieces. The icing on the cake, his left foot was just as effective. An artist, a real one! Small anthology.
Nicknamed the “Maradona of the Carpathians”, Gheorghe Hagi was designated Romanian footballer of the 20th century! Leader of the Romanian selection at the 1994 World Cup, he made his debut at Steaua Bucharest before playing for the two Spanish tenors, Real and Barça, then enchanting fans of Galatasaray. Throughout his career, he has delighted crowds thanks to his ability to transform the extraordinary into ordinary, through his technique, his vision of the game, his formidable strikes, and his creativity.
By registering a double in the 1998 World Cup final, “Zizou” allowed the French team to become a legend. The iconic leader of the Blues, unforgettable number 10 of Juventus and Real Madrid, Zidane has also built a solid reputation as a coach. 3 Champions Leagues, 1 Liga, 2 European Super Cups, 1 Spanish Super Cup, 2 Club Worlds, this is his record after two and a half seasons at the head of the “Merengue”. That’s why the announcement of his departure on May 31 was like a bomb. Here is a summary of his most beautiful actions.
Triple Golden Ball, named best French footballer of the XXth century by the magazine France Football, elected by Juventus biggest “Bianconero” of all times, Michel Platini left an important imprint in the world of football. Iconic playmaker of the French team and, in clubs, AS Nancy-Lorraine, AS Saint-Étienne and Juventus Turin, brilliant in all sects euros du jeu, “Platoche” was, thanks to his magic right foot, particularly efficient on free kicks. Author of 353 goals during his career, including 41 in the jersey of the Blues, his most beautiful title of glory probably remains the victory in the 1984 European Nations Championship, during which he distinguished himself by scoring 5 goals in 9 games. Judge by yourself!
Winner of the World Cup in 2002, the Ballon d’Or in 2005 and the Brazilian Ballon d’Or in 2012, Ronaldinho personifies the football we love. The one made of carefree, juggled and arabesques, the one who brings a breath of fresh air in a sometimes rough sport. His speed of execution and his confusing dribbles have terrified the most experienced defenders. His technical palette, his creativity and his ability to reinvent the game with each gesture made Ronaldinho a legendary player.
Today retired, Riquelme belonged to this race of players who do not reason in terms of career, for whom greed is not a priority and who simply seek to take and give pleasure. He shared with the great playmakers the concern to make others play, the taste of the fair pass and the bright opening. Accurate on a set kick like in the long game, an outstanding dribbler, endowed with an innate sense of forefoot and a formidable strike, the Argentinian presented the profile of number 10 par excellence. Insight into his genius.
At the height of his art, the Louverdis splashed the last World Cup of his class and his talent. Recently classified as the best European dribbler by the International Center for the Study of Sport (CIES), our compatriot is capable, as this video shows, of technical gestures bordering on the sublime. Endowed with top speed, acceleration and explosiveness out of the ordinary, Eden is second to none to initiate counter-attacks and take advantage of the spaces created in enemy defenses. An incomparable passer, he is also capable of striking with surgical precision, which makes him particularly formidable on stopped phases.