There are historical football bibs that become a symbol of an era and a style of play, as they are associated with specific players.
There are legendary ones, such as '14' by Johan Cruyff, '5' by Franz Beckenbauer, '11' by Paco Gento, '10' by Pelé and Maradona. But there are also numbers of active players who begin to be emblematic, such as Gianluigi Buffon's '88'.
Top dorsal of most famous players of all time
Below you will find a selection of the most famous players' numbers, with mentions of such iconic clubs as Ajáx de Cruyff, Pelé's Brazil or Ronaldinho's AC Milan. Will you join us?
Johan Cruyff and Nº14
One of the most famous players' numbers that has paraded on the pitch has been the '14' of Johan Cruyff, an emblem of the sport.
He made his debut on 19 July 1974 as a Dutch footballer against Uruguay. However, his career was devoted to Barcelona FC, where the tiki-taka would have a decisive influence on subsequent generations, such as Guardiola's Dream Team.
But why did Cruyff choose this dorsal? According to his compatriot Gerrie Mühren, this was the number on Cruyff's jersey that he took from a basket, with many other outfits.
However, chance has not discredited this dorsal. In 1974, when the alphabetical system was imposed on the number selection, the Dutch team made only one exception with a particular number. You guessed it: Johan Cruyff's '14'.
Gianluigi Buffon and the Nº88
When Gianluigi Buffon made his debut on 9 March 2000, the legendary Italian goalkeeper was not wearing the 88 number that would make him emblematic. It was during his stay in Parma, in the 2000-2001 season, that he decided to wear that number.
The decision caused a great stir in Italy. With some typefaces, the '88 could be interpreted as a wink to the phrase Heil Hitler (HH). However, Buffon clarified that its meaning was much simpler: the shape of the '88' reminded him of two pairs of eggs.
In fact, Gianluigi Buffon wanted the number 00, but due to the impossibility of such a number, opted for the '88' because "it means having balls: strength and determination," said the most emblematic goalkeeper of Juventus.
The Italian also considered the 01, as he admired Robert E. Lee, a general of the American Civil War. One way or another, Buffon wanted his dorsal to transmit more strength and vigor than the rest.
Franz Beckenbauer and No. 5
The '5' is a fairly common number of famous football players, although unlike the '10', there is no debate about which was the best '5' in history: Franz Beckenbauer.
Like the legends, Beckenbauer's record speaks for itself: two European Cups, two Golden Balls, and two World Cups (as a player and as a coach).
Beckenbauer's goals are of greater value as he did not play in the forward position, not even in midfield. He was a defender, which did not prevent him from scoring 95 goals throughout his career. The most curious thing is that he finished his career with number 6 in the New York Cosmos.
Ossie Ardiles and the Nº1
Another one of the mythical football bibs? Ossie Ardiles' '1'. Although less well known than Pele, Maradona or Cruyff, history has not done justice to Ardiles, one of the most skilful strikers in the beautiful game.
The iconic Tottenham Hotspur player, almost unknown in the rest of European leagues, wore Argentina's No1 during the 1982 World Cup.
The origin of this dorsal is not very glamorous. He was assigned alphabetically during the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.
Ronaldinho and Nº80
Another of the most famous players' numbers is the '80' of Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, better known as Ronaldinho.
Although in one of his most glorious stages (in Frank Rijkaard's Barça) he wore the number 10, his fans will not have forgotten the number 80 he wore on the back of the AC Milan shirt.
Why did you change your dorsal at the Italian club? Although that number already had 'owner' in the eleven of AC Milan, Ronaldinho rejected it in favor of '80' to allude to the date of his birth, 1980.
Although it may surprise you, this reasoning for selecting the number is common among Milanese players. Andriy Shevchenko (76), Robinho (83) or Stephan El Shaarawy (92) chose their numbers based on the year of their birth.
Peter Osgood and No. 9
The Chelsea of the 1960s is linked to one of the eleven most remembered in the Premier League. Peter Osgood was England's most famous '9' during those years.
Beyond his talent on the field of play, Osgood has transcended his busy personal life, even frequenting celebrities like George Harrison, Paul McCartney or Steve Mc Queen.
For fans of The Blues, Peter Osgood was the eternal local hero and one of the most remembered '9' numbers, with permission from other stars who wore that number, such as Bobby Charlton or Marco van Basten.
Paco Gento and the Nº11
Another famous player's dorsal is Paco Gento's '11'. His historical lateral position and great speed earned him the nickname 'La Galerna del Cantábrico', being one of the most remembered stars of Real Madrid.
There is no story behind his number, but undoubtedly all fans have associated the number 11 with Gento, due to its influence in the world of football, especially in the Spanish Primera Division.
Pelé and Nº10
The best Brazilian of all time could not be missing among these most famous players. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, always wore the number 10 on his back.
The Brazilian legend culminated his career with more than 1,200 goals. For many players, the number 10 has a special symbolism. In many cases, the 10 bibs of each team are reserved for the best.
But the truth is that Pelé didn't choose his dorsal. During the 1958 World Cup, his own federation assigned him at random. Other historic '10' are Diego Maradona, Franchesco Totti, Michel Platini, Zico, Del Piero and Scifo.