In football, the number 5 is the role given to a centre-back. Therefore, centre-backs typically wear the No. 5 shirt when playing for their national teams or football clubs. However, some footballers have distinguished themselves while donning the number 5 jersey, and are not just centre-backs. Here are the famous football players who wore the number 5 jersey.

1. Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro number 5 jersey

Cannavaro is regarded as one of the best defenders of all time. In 2006, he won the Ballon d’Or award, which made him the only defender to win the award in a decade and only the third of all time after Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer. The 2006 Italian World Cup winner wore the number 5 jersey for the majority of his career at the Italian national team, as well as his stints with Real Madrid, Napoli, and Juventus.

2. Claudio Gentile

The retired Italian centre-back was one of the most feared and respected players during his heyday. Gentile was a defensive stalwart for both club and country. He wore the number 5 jersey throughout most of his playing career with Juventus. Claudio played for the Old Lady between 1973-84. The rugged defender featured for the Bianconeri in 283 matches with 9 goals to his name. Gentile won 6 Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia trophies, one UEFA Cup, and Cup Winners’ Cup each during his long and successful spell at Juventus.

3.  Rio Ferdinand

The former Manchester United defender was one of their most reliable players during the Red Devils dominance in the 2000s and 2010s. Rio wore the number 5 jersey during his time at Old Trafford between 2003-14. Ferdinand was a big uncompromising centre-back who was also comfortable on the ball and contributed his fair share of goals. His travel haul at United was quite impressive, with domestic leagues, cups, and a continental Champions League to his name.

4. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane number 5 jersey

The former Ballon d’Or winner wore the 5 jerseys when he was part of the Real Madrid squad affectionately referred to as the Galacticos. Zidane spotted the number 5 shirt for 6 years between 2001-2006. The French legend won many titles including league, cups, and continental trophies while at Madrid. He’s regarded as one of the best-ever players of all time. After his playing career ended, he took coaching and has become one of the best players who became successful coaches.

5. Franz Beckenbauer

The Kaiser is seen as the embodiment of German football. Respected for his gracefulness on the ball, single-mindedness, and toughness that made him so successful at club level and with the German national team. Franz made the number 5 his own when he played for Bayern Munich between the mid-1960s to late 1970s. Beckenbauer won a ton of trophies during his time that included domestic and international titles.

6. Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand is regarded as one of the best centre-backs to have come out of England. The former Manchester United centre-back wore the number 5 jersey for Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers, and the English national team. 

7. Carlos Puyol

Carlos Puyol number 5 jersey

The former Barcelona centre-back was the heart and soul of the Catalans defense, which he marshaled between 2002-14. Puyol proudly wore the number 5 jersey throughout his time with Barca, captaining them to many domestic, continental, and international triumphs. Carlos is seen by many as the best defender ever to play for Barcelona.

8. Sergio Busquets

Sergio Busquets

The Spanish midfielder maestro has donned the number 5 jersey for both the Spanish national team and FC Barcelona since 2014. He has won a plethora of trophies for both club and country and is still actively playing. 

9. Michael Essien

Michael Essien

Another famous midfielder who wore the number 5 jersey was Ghanaian football legend Michael Essien. The versatile midfielder proudly wore number 5 on the back of his jerseys with Chelsea and the Ghanaian national team. Undoubtedly one of the most underrated African football legends, Essien won manifold trophies and individual awards during his playing career.

10. Matt Hummels

The consistent German defender hasn’t worn the number 5 jersey for most of his club career but has sported the number 5 for almost all of his international career. During his time at Bayern Munich, he wore the number 5 jersey, but for Germany, he has always worn number 5.

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