The number 8 jersey has been worn by thousands, if not millions of players over the years. Only a few have, however, distinguished themselves wearing this particular number. Many gifted footballers have dazzled us wearing this figure. Today we pay tribute to these special men.
1. Andres Iniesta – FC Barcelona & Vissel Kobe
The former Barcelona player was one of the greatest midfielders of the modern age that wore the number 8. The twinkle-toed ex-Spanish international was an absolute nightmare to face for opposition defenders and midfielders alike. His dribbling ability and knack for always getting out of tight situations made him one of the most formidable opponents in world football.
Alongside midfield partner Xavi Hernández and Sergio Busquets, he formed a fearsome midfield trio that helped power Barcelona to many La Liga, Copa Del Rey, and UEFA Champions League titles. Andres also showed his timing for scoring important goals. For instance, an important goal, which won the World Cup for Spain in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Also, not forgetting his two strikes in the 2012 Euro final 4-0 decimation of fellow finalists in Italy.
2. Frank Lampard – Chelsea & England
The Chelsea legend is arguably one of the greatest English midfielders ever. The all-action goal-scoring box-to-box midfielder was famous for wearing the number 8 jersey when playing for the Blues and England. Lampard was blessed with a great technique and vision that helped him assist and score so many goals during his great career.
3. Steven Gerrard – Liverpool
The ex-England player was the lifeblood of his boyhood club, Liverpool, for so many years. The great Reds bestrode the Anfield pitch while adorning his famous number 8 jersey. Gerrard was an inspirational Liverpool captain who scored many important goals during his time with the Merseysiders. Even though he didn’t win any league title he was at least able to inspire his club to a UEFA Champions League triumph in 2005.
4. Gennaro Gattuso – AC Milan
The no-nonsense uncompromising former AC Milan midfielder was an absolute terror on the field of play. His tough-tackling, all-action style made him a toast of the San Siro faithful. Gattuso could be easily spotted wearing the number 8. He was an important member of the Rossoneri team that was highly successful in the mid-2000s.
5. Socrates Vieira de Oliveira – Brazil
The late great Brazilian player is one of the best players never to win a World Cup. The former Brazilian midfielder was part of the exciting Brazil team of the 1982 World Cup that dazzled and entertained spectators. Socrates wore the number 8 during the tournament. He made 60 appearances for Brazil between May 1979 and June 1986, and scored 22 goals.
Other famous soccer players who have worn the number 8 jersey for both club and country include:
- Hristo Stoichkov (90/91 – 97/98) – FC Barcelona
- Emile Heskey (99/00 – 03/04) – Liverpool
- (04/05 – 06/07) – FC Barcelona
- Wayne Rooney (04/05 – 06/07) – Manchester United
- Raúl García (07/08 – 15/16) – Atletico Madrid
- George Best (65/66 – 71/72) – Manchester United
- Kaká (09/10 – 13/14) – Real Madrid
- Javi Martínez (12/13 – 20/21) – Bayern Munich
- Toni Kroos (14/15 – Present) – Real Madrid
- (99/00 – 02/03) – Real Madrid
- Mikel Arteta (11/12 – 15/16) – Arsenal
- Ian Wright (91/92 – 97/98) – Arsenal
- Marcel Desailly (93/94 – 97/98) – AC Milan
- Carlo Ancelotti (87/88 – 91/92) – AC Milan
- Frank Rijkaard (88/89 – 92/93) – AC Milan
- Shaun Wright-Phillips (08/09 – 11/12) – Manchester City
- Antonio Conte (92/93 – 03/04) – Juventus
- Claudio Marchisio (09/10 – 17/18) – Juventus
- Javier Zanetti (96/97 – 10/11) – Argentina
- Salomon Kalou (07/08 – 16/17) – Ivory Coast.
- Christian Eriksen (10/11 – 13/14) – Ajax
- Yakubu Aiyegbeni (00/01 – 09/10) – Nigeria.