Although the substitute goalkeepers sometimes use this number, it has been worn by players in various positions on the field.
This article will look into the players from different perspectives, including:
- Early career
- Prime Career
- Awards and accolades
- Late career
Continue reading as we look into these soccer players with the number 12, and although not very popular, they have made themselves known and revered in the soccer arena.
Soccer Players Who Wore The Number 12
Number 12 is just one outside the typical 1-11 players and has no distinct position. In this list of best players with the number 12, there is a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, and attacker.
Although it’s not a classic number, it’s not far from the first eleven and open to all positions. Let’s take a look at the famous players to wear 12;
Alex Sandro Lobo Silva is a Brazilian left-back for the Serie A club Juventus. He is known for his energetic and offensive-minded style of play.
Sandro is deployed along the left flank, sometimes playing as an outside forward or offensive winger.
However, when it comes to a one-on-one player, his opponents don’t stand a chance. Coupled with a powerful run, his style of play has made people compare him to his countryman Roberto Carlos.
- Sandro started his career at Atletico Paranaense and was later loaned to Santos. In 2011, he moved to Porto and four years later joined Juventus.
- At Juventus, he has won the domestic double and two league titles.
- Internationally, he has been capped 30 times for Brazil and was part of the team that won the 2019 Copa America.
Before joining the seniors’ team, Sandro featured in Brazil’s under-20 team and won the South American Youth Championship. In 2011, he helped his team secure the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
His accolades include:
- O Jogo Team of the Year: 2012 and 2013
- Serie A Team of the Year: 2016-17, 2017-18
- FIFA FIFPro World11 nominee: 2019
Marcelo Vieira da Silva
Marcelo Vieira da Silva Junior is a prolific left-sided attacking full-back who has earned praise from soccer legends like Paolo Maldini and Diego Maradona.
Roberto Carlos even said that Marcelo has better technical ability than him.
The Brazilian soccer player is the captain of the La Liga side, Real Madrid, and plays for his home country. Early in his career, he won the Campeonato Carioca, which saw him named to the Brasileirao Team of the Season before joining Real Madrid.
At Real Madrid, he made a name for himself. His offensive abilities, trickery, and technical qualities made him stand out.
His flair, touch, grace, and ball control made him a lethal attacking full-back with his speed, allowing him to create scoring opportunities and positioning himself well to open up the field for his team.
- He won 23 trophies at Real Madrid, including four UEFA Championships and five La Liga titles.
- In 2016, he was named in the La Liga Team of the Season and in the UEFA Team of the Year thrice. He was also named in the FIFPro World XI six times.
- Internationally, he has been named in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups tournament’s Dream team as he represented his country.
- He also appeared for Brazil in the 2008 Olympics, 2012 Olympics, and the 2013 Confederations Cup.
John Obi Mikel
Mikel John Obi is a defensive midfielder from Nigeria. Before joining Lyn, a Norwegian club, he began his professional career at a local club, Plateau United.
He later moved to Chelsea, where he played for 11 years, then transferred to Tianjin TEDA in China. After that, he went back to Middlesbrough, then to Trabzonspor, and in 2020, joined Stoke City.
His Chelsea transfer was controversial as Manchester United had claimed to have signed the player before. Lyn, the team he was playing for, corroborated Manchester United’s claims.
But Chelsea had engaged the player before even facilitating his European transfer with the aim of signing him later.
Unfortunately, the Manchester United-Lyn deal bypassed his agent, so it did not hold eventually. Obi also expressed that he wanted to join Chelsea but was pressured into signing for Manchester United.
Finally, the controversy was cleared, and Obi Mikel went ahead and played for more than a decade at Chelsea.
- Playing internationally, Mikel has featured 91 times and scored six goals for his country.
- He started playing for Nigeria’s under-20 team, where he won the Silver Ball at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship as Nigeria lost in the finals to Argentina.
- He debuted for the senior team in 2005 but was not named in any squad until the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations squad.
- A year later, he was suspended from all Nigerian national teams for boycotting a match against Uganda, citing an injury but not showing up for a medical checkup.
- After apologizing, he was named in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations team, 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2016 Olympics squad, 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers squad, and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Considered among the best goalkeepers globally at his prime, Julio Cesar is regarded as the best Brazilian goalkeeper ever.
His athleticism, strength, agility, shot-stopping ability, quick reflexes, positional sense, and ability to read the game made him very competent between the poles.
The Brazilian goalkeeper played for Inter Milan for seven years, where he won several titles and kept several records. He won five Scudetti, a UEFA Champions League title, and a FIFA Club World Cup.
He was the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009, nominated for the Ballon d’Or and the UEFA Club Goalkeeper in 2010. In 2013, he won the Golden Glove at the Confederations Cup.
Some of the records that Cesar kept include:
- One of three goalkeepers from Brazil to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or
- Most minutes without conceding a goal as a Brazilian goalkeeper
- Most penalty saves in Serie A by any Brazilian goalkeeper
- Brazilian goalkeeper with most clean sheets in Serie A
- Most clean sheets in a single Serie A season while with Inter Milan.
Cesar also lent his outstanding goalkeeping skills to his country in 2006, 2010, and 2014 FIFA World Cups and two Copa America tournaments, making his capping 87 times.
Popularly known as super-sub, David Fairclough is a retired English soccer player. David majorly played for Liverpool in his career. David was used as a tactical player for Liverpool as he was a talented goal scorer but rarely started matches.
However, he would come in later in the game and make an impact.
Born in inner-city Liverpool, he rose through the Liverpool ranks and debuted on November 1st, 1975, in a league-winning match against Middlesbrough.
Despite his scoring prowess, the pecking order at Liverpool for strikers was steep because of the ‘dream duo’ of Kevin Keegan and John Toshack.
However, the 1976-77 season saw Fairclough make many appearances because of the injury-stricken Toshack.
- Fairclough scored an only hat-trick while at Liverpool in a match against Norwich City. Later in the season, he got limited playtime, which saw him play only 14 games and score five goals.
- Fairclough made 153 appearances for Liverpool, 61 of them from the bench. He scored 55 goals, averaging a goal every 2.8 games.
- At the end of his career, he was loaned to the NASL side, Toronto Blizzard, then he moved to the Swiss side FC Lucerne, before returning to England and playing for Manchester City, Norwich, Oldham Athletic, and Rochdale.
He then had a spell in Belgium with Beveren, returned home to play with Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic, and finished his career at Knowsley.