In football, 11 players make up the starting lineup, which means another 11 are available for reserve. However, football does not work that way, as 5 substitutes are allowed in an official professional football game.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that squads don’t have more than 22 players, but the interesting thing is that while jersey number 11 is intended for wingers and forwards, most of the time, the number 22 jersey is not restricted to reserve forwards.
Our research across the biggest teams in Europe revealed that it is a number that is used with discretion, as there are defenders, strikers, and midfielders who are assigned to that number.
Here are the top 10 football players who wear the number 22 shirts in the 2022/23 season.
1. Angel Di Maria (Juventus)
Angel di Maria is one of the most prominent football players in the world and has played across some of the biggest teams in Europe, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and now Juventus in Italy.
Argentina forward joined Juventus this summer after a seven-year stint in Paris with PSG.
He has already played ten matches for Juventus in the Serie A, and UEFA Champions League combined.
Did you know? Angel Di Maria is one of the footballers with the most assists in football history.
Di Maria is obviously one of the best soccer players who wear the number 22 jersey, however, he wears the number 11 for the Argentine national team.
2. Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid)
Antonio Rüdiger is a German central defender who wears the number shirt for Real Madrid.
When Chelsea faced media backlash because of Roman Abramovich due to his involvement with the Russian government and was pressured to sell the club, German Defender Antonio Rüdiger opted against signing a new contract and instead joined Spanish club Real Madrid on a free transfer.
The former VfB Stuttgart defender revealed that Barcelona was also interested in him, but instead, he chose to play at the Santiago Bernabeu with jersey number 22 on his back.
3. Jude Bellingham (Borrusia Dortmund)
Jude Bellingham started very early as a teenager with Birmingham City and immediately attracted interest from the biggest European clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Chelsea.
Despite the interest from the biggest Premier League club sides, Bellingham went to German club Dortmund where he was given jersey number 22 in 2020.
The 19-year-old is already playing his first World Cup with the English national team in Qatar, and he touted to return to England in the nearest future.
He is one of the youngest footballers at the 2022 World Cup.
4. Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)
Hakim Ziyech joined Chelsea from Ajax in 2020, with many expecting him to replicate the kind of form that attracted the biggest clubs to him that year.
However, he has not been able to meet the expectations of the Blues, but with his performance at the World Cup for Morocco, maybe it is time for the Chelsea fans to give the number 22 more time.
5. Raphinha (Barcelona)
Arsenal wanted Raphinha, Chelsea wanted Raphinha, but it was Barcelona that got the Brazilian now at the end of the summer transfer window.
The Brazilian forward explained that Barcelona was a dream choice, and it was a no-brainer for him to join the club despite their financial challenges.
His first number at the club is 19, although that may change with shuffles that come with future transfers at camp Nou.
6. Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli)
Giovanni di Lorenzo is a 29-year-old defender who plays for the Italian club Napoli. The defender plays for the Italian national team and won the Euro 2020.
Di Lorenzo joined the club in 2019 from Empoli and has spent three years wearing the number 22 jersey amassing over 120 appearances in all competitions.
Giovanni di Lorenzo is regarded as one of the best right-backs in the world.
7. Calvin Ramsay (Liverpool)
Scottish youngster Calvin Ramsay was impressive for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League last season, playing 28 games in total and attracting the interest of Liverpool.
The 19-year-old right-back joined in the summer and was given number 22 immediately, although he has not been able to wear it frequently as he has been limited to just two appearances in all competitions.
8. Nick Pope (Newcastle United)
Nick Pope is one of England’s top three goalkeepers in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the second choice to Everton’s Jordan Pickford.
Nick Pope joined Newcastle United from relegated Burnley in the summer and was handed the number 22 Jersey at St James’ Park.
9. Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest)
Nottingham Forest signed plenty of players during the summer transfer window as they prepared for their first season back in the Premier League in several decades.
They also let go of some of their players from last season. However, Ryan Yates survived the purge as he stayed down at the club for the 6th year, although he has had to contend with loan deals at some point.
Yates has played 13 Premier League games this season for the club.
10. Ben Godfrey (Everton)
24-year-old English Defender Ben Godfrey joined Everton from Norwich city in 2020.
He has played over 55 games for the Goodison Park team, including 23 last season in the Premier League and once this season.