How Are Jersey Numbers Assigned To Players?

Ansu Fati number 10 FC Barcelona

It’s become common for player jerseys for official matches, whether at local or international level, to have numbers written on the back of them. This helps not just to identify the player alone but also gives an indication as to the position of the said player.

Jersey numbers are usually assigned from 1-11 or to whatever number the squad size allows for. Assigning numbers might seem a simple process, but teams have special reasons or criteria for giving certain numbers to a particular footballer. Today we will be examining some of those reasons that explains how jersey numbers are assigned to players.

Player’s Position

Jersey numbers are usually assigned to players who play certain positions on the field of play. For instance, if a player is assigned the number 1 jersey, he’s most likely a goalkeeper. Numbers 2-5 are usually reserved for defenders, while number 6, number 8, and number 10 are mainly for midfielders. Forwards usually wear the numbers 7, 9, and 11 jerseys.

Numbers outside the first 11 would then usually be assigned randomly, but the first few numbers are almost always assigned based on the position the footballer plays.

Player Preference 

Ansu Fati number 10 FC Barcelona
How Are Jersey Numbers Assigned To Players?

Sometimes a jersey number could be assigned to a player based on a special request from the player himself. Sometimes before agreeing to join a club, a player might request that he be given a number before he joins them because he has always been associated with the number.

For example, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo asked to be given the number 7 when he joined Manchester United at the beginning of the season. Another reason might be because the number carries special sentimental value or they feel it brings good fortune to them.

Status of Player 

Jersey numbers are sometimes also assigned based on how much your club or teammates. Players that are given the number 10 jersey in any team, for example, are regarded as highly skillful talismanic players. Players who wear number 9 are usually the best or top strikers for their clubs or national teams. Players like Lionel Messi or Diego Maradona were usually always given the number 10 jersey in recognition of their ability on the ball.

Random selection 

Sometimes could assign numbers based on random selection from the numbers available. A player could be given numbers like 15, 12, or 22, not necessarily because of any position he plays but just to exhaust the jersey numbers that are remaining. A few times, teams have had reason to retire a particular number for any reason, so they will bring another number to replace and give to another player. 

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