Soccer has evolved over its two millennia of existence. When kit numbers were first introduced, they were used as indicators of a player’s position. For example, soccer players with the number 11 were mainly forward left-wingers.
Currently, the number does not explicitly indicate a player’s position, although the number 11 is predominantly worn by midfielders and left-wingers.
The number 11 jersey, over time, has seen great players don it, and they have created beautiful memories for the lovers of the beautiful game of soccer.
In this article, we shall look into:
- Who these players are
- Their brief history
- Their records, accolades, and awards
Without much ado, let’s get to know the soccer players with the number 11.
Soccer Players Who Wear Number 11
Traditionally the number 11 soccer players play as wide attackers. In this collection of the best number 11s, there is a mix of wingers and strikers who have written themselves in the history books with amazing scoring records.
The most expensive Egyptian player of all time, Mohamed Salah, plays as a forward for Liverpool, an English Premier League team. His transfer to Liverpool was a then-record high for the club. At the same time, the transfer fee of £36.9 million made him the most expensive Egyptian player.
Salah is better known for his speed, dribbling, and impressive finishing abilities. His talent was noticed at an early age as he represented Egypt at the youth level. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Salah was named CAF’s Most Promising African Talent.
The Egyptian’s career started at Al Makawloon, an Egyptian club, in 2010. However, in 2012, he transferred to the Swiss-based club, Basel. As soon as he got to Basel, he got to work winning two Swiss Super League titles.
Chelsea was keen on him, and in 2014, they signed him for a fee of £11 million. Nevertheless, he didn’t get much playtime. Instead, he was loaned to Fiorentina and Roma. At Roma, he impressed, and Roma signed him for €15 million.
- 2017 was a big year for Salah. First, he transferred to Liverpool at a record fee.
- As this was happening at the club internationally, he was causing big waves too. He led his team, Egypt, to runner-up in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He was the top goal scorer during the CAF qualifications.
- In addition, he was selected in the 2017 African Cup of Nations Team of the Year.
- In 2017 and 2018, he was recognized as CAF African Soccer Player of the Year and BBC African Soccer Player of the Year. In addition, he would be named in the CAF Team of the Year severally.
Salah at Liverpool was also unstoppable, setting a record for most goals in a 38-game Premier League season – 32 goals. He has finished third in the Best FIFA Men’s Player twice and won the Premier League Golden Boot the same number of times.
As Liverpool’s tenth highest scorer of all time, he has led Liverpool to win a Premier League title and a UEFA Champions League title.
Didier Drogba is a household name in the game of soccer. Most notably, he is the first African player to score over 100 Premier League goals. He is also the all-time top goal scorer for his country, Ivory Coast.
Drogba played for his nation for 12 years, leading them to their first FIFA World Cup in 2006 and scoring their first World Cup goal. He led them in the consequent World Cup tournaments in 2006 and 2014.
- At the African Cup of Nations, they got to the finals in 2006 and 2012. Unfortunately, on both occasions, they were beaten in penalty shootouts. After 65 goals and 105 international cappings, Drogba retired from international football in 2014.
- The Ligue 2 club, Le Mans, is where Didier Drogba made his professional debut. He later moved to Guingamp, a Ligue 1 club, and started making moves. In the 2002-03 season, he made 34 appearances and scored 17 goals.
- The following season he was the third-highest scorer with 19 goals, but he was playing for Olympique de Marseille, where he helped get to the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.
- That same year, he landed at Chelsea with a bang, helping them win their first league title in 50 years. He would help the team repeat this feat a year later.
- In 2012, when he scored against Liverpool, he became the only soccer player to score a goal in four FA Cup Finals.
Interestingly, Drogba has a career record for scoring ten goals in ten finals and winning ten trophies, earning him the title of ‘ultimate big-game player.’
Though he had a fantastic performance at Chelsea, he did leave for China and played for Shanghai Shenhua. He later moved to Turkey and played for Galatasaray, helping then win the 2013 Turkish Super Cup with his winning goal.
He became a little homesick and returned to Chelsea in 2014 before departing to Canada in 2015 and joining Montreal Impact as a designated player. Designated he was, as he appeared 40 times in two seasons and scored 23 goals.
In 2017, he became player-owner of the Phoenix Rising, a United Soccer League club. He retired from professional soccer the same year at age 40.
The following year, the two-time African Footballer of the Year became the Vice President of Peace and Sport, an international organization.
Romario is a Brazilian politician and former soccer player. Romario was a clinical striker, having scored 750 goals in his career. He is the seventh-highest goal scorer with 780 goals in 1000 games.
- For his country, Romario appeared 70 times and scored 55 goals. This makes him the fourth-highest goalscorer for Brazil, only after Pele, Neymar, and Ronaldo.
- In 1988, Romario moved from Brazil to the Netherlands to join PSV Eindhoven.
- He played there for five seasons, helping the club win the Eredivisie thrice. In his 167 games,
- Romario scored 165 goals, two goals shy of a goal per game.
Half a decade later, he moved to FC Barcelona and became the top goalscorer with 30 goals in 33 games while winning La Liga.
Romario then moved back to Brazil and won the Brazilian League with CR Vasco da Gama. While playing in the Brazilian League, he was the top scorer thrice.
Before taking into politics in 2010, he played in Qatar, the United States of America, and Australia.
Ryan Giggs, OBE, is a Welsh soccer coach and former soccer player. He also co-owns Salford City. A one-club man Giggs played his entire career at Manchester United.
The left midfielder joined Manchester United at 14 years of age and made his first debut in 1991. He has been Manchester United’s first team member for 23 years.
Giggs is among the most decorated players of all time. He is also among 28 players to have played over 1000 games.
Amazingly, Manchester United and Liverpool are the only two teams in history to have more league championships than Ryan Giggs. Giggs won the following:
- 13 Premier Leagues
- Four FA Cups
- Three League Cups
- Two UEFA Champions Leagues
- FIFA Club World Cup
- Intercontinental Cup
- UEFA Super Cup
- Nine FA Community Shields
At a personal level, Giggs was the only player in history to play in the first 22 seasons of the Premier League and score in 21 of those seasons.
Earlier in his career, he was the first player to win the PFA Young Player of the Year twice in a row. In addition, he was awarded the PFA Player of the Year in 2009.
He was also in the PFA Team of the Century two years prior and the Premier League Team of the Decade four years before. Furthermore, he holds the record for most assists in Premier League history.
In 2009 also, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.