The number 4 jersey is a number that is mainly worn by first-team players in the squad. In football, the number 4 role is generally referred to as a holding midfielder, often used for the sweeper or libero position. However, many footballers have worn the number 4 jersey without having to play that role. The number has been worn by many great football legends. Here are some of the famous footballers who have worn the number 4 jersey.
1. Ronald Koeman
The retired Dutch centre-back wore the number for club, and country during the bulk of his career from the 1980s to the mid-1990s. At FC Barcelona, Koeman wore the number from 1989-1995. The former Dutch international defender was renowned for his dead-ball ability and technical astuteness on the ball. Ronald won many titles with Barca, including La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League in 1990.
2. Sergio Ramos
Depending on who you ask the Spanish international is either regarded as a defensive genius or enfant terrible of Real Madrid Football Club. The highly decorated player was regarded as a great centre-back who wore the number 4 during his time at the Bernabeu between 2005-21. Ramos was a no-nonsense defender respected for his tenacity and big-game mentality. Sergio was also comfortable with the ball at his feet and had the knack for popping up to score important goals. He is also the most red-carded player in La Liga history.
3. Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk is considered one of the best defenders of his generation. The Dutch defender is known for his strength, leadership, and aerial ability. He currently plays as a centre-back for Premier League club Liverpool and the Netherlands national team. Virgil van Dijk currently wears the number 4 jersey for both Liverpool and Netherlands. He holds the record of being the only defender to win UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.
4. Claude Makélélé
The former French international was a very solid and competent defensive midfielder during his time. Makélélé was highly rated and respected for his ability to effectively shield his defense while playing for Real Madrid and Chelsea. At Stamford Bridge, his position was renamed the Makelele role, because of how efficient he was protecting the Chelsea rearguard. Claude wore the number 4 jersey for the duration of his time with the Blues between 2003-08. He won many domestic titles during his time in London.
5. Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany proudly wore the number 4 jersey for Manchester City, and for most of this time with the Belgian national team. He is regarded as one the best defenders to play in the Premier League. He won a host of domestic trophies with Man City as their captain.
6. Cesc Fabregas
The talented Spanish midfielder wore the number 4 jersey playing for various clubs including Arsenal (2006-11), Barcelona (2011-14), Chelsea (2014-18), and currently Monaco. Fabregas is blessed with great technical ability and is able to play multiple roles across the midfield. Cesc has won many domestic, continental, and international trophies in his career and is regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders of his generation.
7. Javier Zanetti
A true football great and a one-club man, Javier Zanetti sported the number 4 jersey for 18 years at Inter Milan. The Argentine was a versatile footballer, who made his mark for both his national team and with Inter. Inter Milan retired his number 4 jersey when he ended his career and made him their vice-president.
8. Samuel Kuffour
The former Bayern Munich defender wore the number 4 jersey between 1997-2005. The ex-Ghanaian international was a reliable presence at the back for the Bavarians known for his solidity and determination. Kuffuor won many trophies with Bayern and is one of the few Africans who have played and done well at the Munich-based club.
9. Rafael Marquez
The Mexican legend wore the number 4 jersey for AS Monaco, FC Barcelona, and Mexico. The defensive stalwart won a plethora of trophies at club and international level while donning the number 4 jersey.
10. Rigobert Song
The retired African football legend is one of the famous footballers who wore the number 4 jersey. The Cameroonian wore number 4 for Liverpool, Galatasaray, and Cameroon. He won the African Cup of Nations and even holds the record for most consecutive games played in the tournament with 35 first-team games.
11. David Luiz
The Brazilian defender was regular for the Brazilian national team from 2013 to 2016 and wore the number 4 jersey then. He also wore the number 4 jersey during his time at Chelsea.
- Pep Guardiola (1995/96 – 00/01) – FC Barcelona
- Fernando Hierro (1994/95 – 02/03) – Real Madrid
- Sulleu Muntari (2012/13 – 14/15) – Arsenal
- Per Mertesacker (2011/12 – 17/18) – Arsenal
- Juan Sebastián Verón (2001/02 – 02/03) – Manchester United
- Patrick Vieira (1996/97 – 04/05) – Arsenal
- Steven Gerrard – England national team
- Kanu Nwankwo – Nigerian national team
- Stephen Keshi – Nigerian national team
- Keisuke Honda – Japanese national team.