Squad numbers are used in soccer to identify and distinguish players that are on the field. Numbers may also indicate position, with starting players being assigned numbers 1 to 11 — although, in the modern game, they are often influenced by the players’ favorite numbers and other less technical reasons.
However, numbers 1–11 are often still favoured by a majority of soccer players.
In this article, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the best players wearing each number, from number 1 to 23.
This list has been compiled based on current form and talent in mind, so a great player in terrible form may be left out.
Also, some very good players currently wearing numbers above 23 also miss out.
1. Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
Liverpool may have failed to live up to expectations last season, but Alisson Becker was still arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League.
The Brazilian number 1 is also one of the best goalkeepers in the world and worthy of being in this list.
He is in good form again this season, kickstarting attacks for the Reds with his superb distribution skills while showing off his underrated reflexes between the sticks.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 1 jersey.
2. Achraf Hakimi (PSG)
Achraf Hakimi is arguably the best player in his position by a distance; very few full-backs are as influential in their teams as the Moroccan is for PSG.
The Moroccan is a pact, attack-minded, and versatile right-back.
Hakimi currently has 4 goals and four assists in 21 matches in all competitions.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 2 jersey.
3. Rúben Dias (Manchester City)
Manchester City are once again among the best defensive sides in England this season, which is mainly down to the presence of Dias, who is one of the few players in Guardiola’s line-up that doesn’t seem to be at risk of rotation.
The 26-year-old is also one of the best defenders in the world, because of his excellent positioning, game-reading, and leadership skills.
The Portuguese is a master defender with superb positional sense and excellent technical qualities, and he is also key to how his side plays.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 3 jersey.
4. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk may not be the same player he was a few years ago, but he’s still very important for Liverpool.
Virgil Van Djik rose through the lower leagues of football before joining the Premier League and then becoming a big team player with Liverpool.
Even though his quality has eroded to some extent, he still commands a starting shirt at Liverpool and stays as one of the best ball-playing defenders in world football.
Very few players wearing the number 4 jersey are up to his standard.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 4 jersey.
5. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
Jude Bellingham has taken Real Madrid by storm and can’t stop scoring at the moment. He is undoubtedly one of the best central midfielders in the world at the moment.
The English midfielder already has 17 goals and 5 assists in just 21 games this season. And he’s just 20 years old.
In 2023, Bellingham clinched both major awards for U-21 footballers: the Golden Boy (for nominees playing in Europe over the last calendar year) and the Kopa Trophy (for the world’s best over the previous season).
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 5 jersey.
6. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, Joshua Kimmich is known for his versatility, aggression, leadership, and playmaking ability.
He is one of the very best in his defensive midfield position, not just because he plays for the German champions but also because he has shown over time the consistency to play at the top level and dominate the midfield irrespective of the opposition.
Interestingly, Joshua Kimmich started out as a fullback. Still, his transformation into a defensive midfielder is not only miraculous but also a testament that he is versatile player.
The German slightly edges Thiago Silva and the injured Gavi as our selected number 6.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 6 jersey.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr)
38-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is favored at number 7 ahead of the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior.
CR7 has been in a very hot form for Al Nassr this season, and simply can’t be overlooked.
In 23 matches so far, Ronaldo has incredibly notched 21 goals and provided 11 assists.
Cristiano Ronaldo ended 2023 as the top scorer in the world with 54 goals, marking an impressive achievement in his career
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 7 jersey.
8. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Bruno Fernandes has not been at his usual best this season, and that is majorly down to the mediocrity that surrounds him at Man Utd.
The Manchester United captain is a direct, energetic, and gifted playmaker who is capable of setting the rhythm of play, picking out passes, and dribbling past midfielders.
His 5 goals and 5 assists in 24 games has seen him picked ahead of Toni Kroos.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 8 jersey.
9. Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)
The number 9 role is a crucial one to any team and only the very best of players get the don his jersey number.
After a huge transfer from Tottenham last summer, Harry Kane has quickly settled down at Bayern Munich. He’s firing on all cylinders!
Kane has 25 goals and 8 assists in 22 appearances so far. He beats in-form Erling Haaland and Lautaro Martinez.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 9 jersey.
10. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)
Who else for the number ten apart from the GOAT? Lionel is one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
Lionel Messi departed Europe for America and has set the MLS alight. In just 14 matches, he netted 11 goals and provided 5 assists.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 10 jersey.
11. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Liverpool haven’t clicked into top gear just yet, but they are in the mix for the EPL title.
This is majorly down to Mohamed Salah, who has recorded 12 goals and 7 assists in the league.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 11 jersey.
12. Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)
Eduardo Camavinga is a utility player for Real Madrid, and he’s comfortable being deployed in any position.
He featured in 17 matches across all competitions and provided an assist.
In November, Madrid announced the extension of Camavinga’s contract until 2029.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 12 jersey.
13. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
With over 400 appearances for Athletico Madrid, Jan Oblak has won four trophies with the club, including a La Liga title.
The Slovenian is mainly known for his speed, quick reflexes, and agility, as well as his reading of the game and, in particular, his excellent handling and ability to come off his line and collect crosses.
Oblak has 8 clean sheets in 24 appearances in 2023/24.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 13 jersey.
14. Alexander Isak (Newcastle United)
In the number 14, Alexander Isak is picked ahead of the likes of Joao Felix, Eddie Nketiah, and Wilfried Zaha.
The Swedish striker is justifying the sum Newcastle paid to recruit him. He has 9 goals in 19 games so far this term.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 14 jersey.
15. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid)
Federico Valverde is one of the most underrated players, not just at Real Madrid but also in the world.
The all-action Uruguayan could literally do it all.
Valverde has played in 24 games in 2023/24, scored a goal, and provided 3 assists.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 15 jersey.
16. Rodri (Manchester City)
Rodri’s status as the best defensive midfielder in Europe is unquestionable. The Spaniard was the driving force behind City’s run to the treble last season and even scored the winner in the Champions League final.
The 27-year-old looks as motivated as ever in 2023/24, too, with his tenacity and energy setting the tone for City amid their pursuit of even more silverware.
Rodri is the heartbeat of Manchester City. He is the maestro conducting the orchestra from midfield.
A tall, strong, physical presence, Rodri has all the muscle City requires in a combative midfielder, combined with the grace, skill, and drive of an attacking midfielder capable of drifting high up the pitch.
He has 4 goals and 6 assists in 22 appearances.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 16 jersey.
17. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the world by miles, it’s only fitting that he is the best soccer player on the number 17 jersey.
His playing time has been limited this season, no thanks to injury. But when fully fit, the Belgian mastermind is virtually unstoppable.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 17 jersey.
18. Aurélien Tchouaméni (Real Madrid)
Very few top players wearing the number 18 are doing well at the moment, so Aurélien Tchouaméni is selected ahead of the likes of Casemiro and Cody Gakpo.
The Frenchman has taken in 19 appearances this season in all competitions so far.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 18 jersey.
19. Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid)
With 18 goals and 4 assists in 23 appearances so far, Alvaro Morata is on fire for Athletico Madrid this season.
Thus, he edges out Theo Hernandez and Alphonso Davies for the number 19.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 19 jersey.
20. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Ahead of the likes of Cole Palmer, Xavi Simons, and Hakan Calhanoglu, Bernardo Silva is picked for the number 20.
With the departure of Gundogan, the injury to De Bruyne, and the absences of Rodri, Bernardo has become more influential for Pep Guardiola’s side.
The Portuguese currently has 7 goals and 3 assists in 22 matches in all competitions.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 20 jersey.
21. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
Frenkie de Jong is one of the best central midfielders in the world. On his day, he can decide games on his own
The Dutch International is one of the best midfielders in the world, and he is known for his vision, passing, dribbling, technique, strong defensive abilities, and attacking prowess.
He is also a versatile player who is capable of playing in several positions, including regista, defensive midfielder, central midfielder, holding midfielder, box-to-box midfielder, and even at centre back.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 21 jersey.
22. Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)
Nigerian forward Victor Boniface has been selected as number 22 ahead of established stars like Ilkay Gundogan and Antonio Rudiger.
This is simply because of his blistering form: he has registered 16 goals and provided 8 assists in just 23 games!
Boniface has been named Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for August, September, October, and November 2023!
Moreover, he was awarded Bundesliga Player of the Month in August.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 22 jersey.
23. Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
Nicolo Barella is a complete midfielder who has a tough battling spirit. He’s very important for Inter as well as for the Italian national team.
To many, he is one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world.
Barella has scored 2 goals and provided 3 assists in 24 appearances in all competitions.
Here’s a list of other top soccer players who wear the number 2 jersey.