Top 10 football players wearing the number 10

Published 09/02/2015, 3:15 PM EDT


So many of the world’s greatest football players wear the number ten for their respective clubs. Messi wears it, Rooney wears it, and Ibrahimovic wears it. The game’s greatest ever players including the likes of Maradona, Pele, Kaka, Owen & Ronaldinho also wore the number 10 at least once in their lifetimes.

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We present to you our list of top ten currently active players with the number 10 written on the back of their jerseys, sorted based on their last season’s performances.

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Argentine forward Carlos Tevez has been one of the most important players for Juventus last season as he played an all-round role in the Old Lady’s path to the Champions League final and in securing the local double as the 31-year-old scored a total of 20 goals and gave 9 assists in 29 appearances for the club.

However, ‘El Apache’ has now moved to his home country Argentina where he currently plays for Boca Juniors. His departure from the club was mainly due to him feeling homesick and it left a lot of Italian fans sad, given the fact that the forward is still a world class player playing in the Argentinian league.

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Arsenal ace Mesut Ozil has excelled since joining the north London outfit under the guidance of French tactician Arsene Wenger. With great technical ability, the German ace acts as the controller between the midfield and attack.

As was evident in the Champions League game against Napoli, it was the Gunners’ best CL performance last season as Ozil orchestrated the attack and even scored an atypical goal from outside the box. He played centrally and made everyone around him considerably better. Again, he will be a key player for Arsene Wenger’s challenge for the Premier League title.

Wayne Rooney continues to be a shining star for Manchester United. With his incredible work rate and his willingness to play at any position according to the needs of the team, this makes him a quintessential player for the modern day footballer.

He got a great WhoScored rating of 7.39 for his performances in the 2014-15 season for the Old Trafford side. And given the fact that Louis van Gaal has bought more midfield reinforcements now, Rooney will have more chances to play at the position where he flourished the most, that is, centre forward. The player will play an important part in the club’s return to Europe’s top competition.

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One of the best young talents in world football at the moment, Paul Pogba had a great season with The Old Lady as the player scored 11 goals from 43 appearances for the club in all competitions. The figure looks great given the fact that he is a 22-year-old player and plays as an attacking midfielder for a huge club. Some of his goals were real beauties from long distances – so much so that you can make an entire video playlist out of his long range goals!

His value at the club has increased with the departure of Carlos Tevez and legendary midfielder Pirlo since he is the main creative head of the team now.

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The Manchester City star will play a huge role if Pellegrini’s side hopes to recover from a disappointing season. One of the best centre forwards in the world, the Argentine forward is an irresistible package – a predator possessing bursting pace, balance, ambidexterity, technique and mental & physical strength. His hat-trick against the German champions that edged out The Sky Blues with a 3-2 victory in the UEFA Champions League is just one of many instances that prove his prominence in the club.

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Touted as one of the best young talents in world football, the Belgium international is a world-class dribbler and has scored some amazing goals under the regime of Jose Mourinho. His partnership with Costa and Fabregas was instrumental in Chelsea winning the 2014-15 Premier League season.

He was the highest-rated Premier League player (7.96) by whoscored.com with 14 goals and 9 assists in the bag with a passing success of 87%. The 24-year-old looks all set to be one of the candidates for Ballon d’Or after Messi and Ronaldo step down from their respective regimes, sometime in the future.

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In a season hampered by injuries, the 31-year-old winger still managed to score 17 goals in just 20 league appearances with 7 assists. The Netherlands international is world-renowned for cutting inside from the right wing with a fiery pace that has troubled defences for a long period of time. He was also instrumental in his team reaching the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup as the Bayern number 10 managed to score 3 goals and was also one of the candidates for best player of the tournament.

The partnership of Arjen Robben & Franck Ribery at the two flanks has been one of the biggest factors in the success of Stern des Südens.

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Rather unheard of prior to the World Cup, James Rodriguez‘s glittering performances for Colombia earned him a mega-bucks move to the Spanish capital. In his two seasons with The Vikings, the attacking midfielder has shown why he cost Los Merengues around €80 million with some top-notch performances.

The two goals he scored against Betis recently are just a testament to the incredible talent this 24-year-old Colombian possesses.

Another player who is reaching the end of his memorable career, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is a truly one-of-a-kind player in world football at the moment.  The Swedish superstar possesses incredible strength, vision, skill, the ability to intimidate defenders and holds the phenomenal record of winning a domestic title at every football side he’s played for, including current club Paris Saint-Germain.

He scored a staggering 34 goals from just 40 appearances last season and has a total of 75 league goals in 89 appearances for the French club since he joined in 2012.  Being 33 years old, Ibrahimovic is still one of the best players in the world. Given his arrogant persona and a huge play list of some of the most amazing goals that one can imagine, the Swedish international has left a footprint in this sport’s history that probably no other player will be ever able to replicate.

When he scored that almost impossible bicycle kick against England in a friendly, the commentator said: “You cannot coach that kind of brilliance”.

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The best number 10 in the world by a distance. One of the best players of all time, Lionel Messi continues to spellbind the footballing world with his majestic skills and talent.

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Like a good wine, he is getting better with age as he produced some of his best football for Barcelona last season which eventually lead them to the historical second treble – a feat never achieved in the history of the sport.

He’s the only player to have won the Ballon d’Or four times and the only player to have won the UEFA best player of the year two times, along with numerous other awards. Mentioning a list of all his achievements would probably require another article in itself.

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The Barcelona superstar was recently awarded the best player in Europe by UEFA and now looks set to win back his fifth Ballon d’Or from arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo who beat him last two seasons in a row.

He was also the whoscored.com player of the season with an incredible rating of 8.84.

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Shivarshi Bajpai

59 articles

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