The number 18 in soccer is interesting. Soccer players with the number 18 are usually strikers, but goalkeepers have also worn the kit number.
The striker picks the jersey 18 if they miss the number nine, which is more coveted. So the idea is when you add 9+9, you get 18. Although not all soccer players with the number 18 use the same logic to settle on the number, they have given substance to it throughout their careers.
In this article, we shall look into these players’;
- Brief history
- Awards and accolades
Let’s take the adventure together into the world of soccer and unearth the legendary soccer players with the number 18, both active and from the archives, and learn more about them.
The Best Soccer Players With Number 18
A Hall of Fame Inductee, Paul Scholes, is an English former soccer player, coach, pundit and co-owner of Salford City. Scholes had an impeccable 20-year run at Manchester United, where he played his entire career. He has left a permanent mark on the soccer arena.
Greats like Xavi have described him as the best midfielder of the last two decades. He added on to say that Scholes has everything, he can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, and he doesn’t give possession away.
His style of play matured over time, with him starting as a striker early in his career and finishing as a deep-seated playmaker who could be deployed both offensively and defensively.
Pele commented on the exceptional skills of Sholes and said if he had played with Paul, he would have scored even more goals. In addition, Thierry Henry added that Scholes is the best player in Premier League history.
Scholes’ ability to retain the ball, study the game and change the tempo whenever necessary made him dangerous as he could control how the game was played. He would have a striking run seemingly from nowhere, creating scoring opportunities for his team.
- He played as a one-club man and won 25 trophies at Manchester United
- 11 Premier League titles
- 2 UEFA Champions League titles.
Internationally, he was capped 66 times by his England team. He retired early in his international career, citing family and club priorities. He, however, appeared in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups and the 2000 and 2004 UEFA Euro Cups.
He made over 700 appearances in his two decades of a professional career and won the Premier League 20 Seasons, Awards FWA Tribute Award, among many other accolades.
He is the third Englishman to take home Italy’s most coveted league title. Ashley Young is a professional soccer player who can be deployed as a winger or full-back despite having featured previously in offensive roles.
Currently, he plays for Premier League Club Aston Villa as a winger and full-back.
His career started at Watford back in 2003, and he became very instrumental in the promotion-winning season for Watford, the 2005-06 season.
Aston Villa noted the remarkable talent and wanted it for themselves. So they committed £8 million and brought Young to their camp. At Aston, he was awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year.
But this was only the start for Young as he would move to Manchester United, moving from being a forward and winger to adapting a defensive role. He started with the wing-back and slowly made his way to the full-back position.
While at Manchester, he won the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Europa League.
He later moved on to Inter Milan and won Serie A, and currently, he is at Aston Villa.
Kasey Christopher Keller is a former American soccer player attributed to having popularized the number 18. He’s played in the United States, Germany, England, and Spain.
One of the highlights in his personal life but tied to his career is that he lived in a thousand thousand-year-old castle while playing in Germany.
Keller made history as the first American goalkeeper to be a regular in the Premier League, La Liga, and Bundesliga.
He has played for his country in four FIFA World Cup tournaments and won the CONCACAF Gold Cup four times. In 1991, 2002, 2005, and 2007.
Some of his accolades include:
FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Ball
- Western Soccer League Top Goalkeeper
- Western Soccer League MVP
- Millwall FC Player of the Year
- U.S Soccer Athlete of the Year, thrice
- Honda Player of the Year, twice
- MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
- National Soccer Hall of Fame
- State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
Bruno Fernandez is a box-to-box attacking midfielder, a Portuguese soccer player, and current midfielder for the Premier League Club Manchester United.
Fernandes has featured as a youth player for his country, including the under-19, under-20, under-21, and under-23 teams.
- He, however, has also represented Portugal in senior competitions,
- including the 2018 FIFA World Cup
- 2019 UEFA Nations League
- 2020 UEFA Euro. In addition
- he was named in the Team of the Tournament during the 2019 UEFA Nations League
Career-wise, Bruno has seen tremendous growth and success. He started his career in Serie B playing with Novara. His exceptional play saw him transfer to Serie A, Udinese. He played with Udinese for three years and then moved to Sampdoria.
After half a decade in Italy, Fernandes moved back home to Portugal and joined Sporting CP. Back at home, he shone. However, his career was just catching the heat. He was made captain and won back-to-back Tacas da Liga and Taca de Portugal.
This made him the Primeira Liga Player of the Year and named in the Primeira Team of the Year for both the years 2018 and 2019.
In the 2018-19 season, Bruno shattered Frank Lampard’s record for the highest-scoring midfielder in Europe in one season and set a new record for highest scoring Portuguese midfielder at 33 goals.
Bruno is a risk-taker; his passes are direct and high level. If his pass is intercepted, he pushes for possession by going for the ball. He has the prolific goal-scoring ability as well as impeccable free-kick and penalty-taking abilities.
Currently, he plays for Manchester United and can also be deployed as a central midfielder or a second striker.
Chris Wondolowski is an American former professional soccer player. Coming from the native tribe of Kiowa, his tribal name is Bau Daigh, which means ‘warrior coming over the hill.’
Chris has proven to be a real warrior in his career by being the highest scorer in MLS history with 171 goals. In addition, he is the only player to score more than 150 regular-season goals.
In addition, Wondolowski is also the only player in MLS to have scored ten or more goals in ten consecutive seasons. A warrior indeed.
Having started his career playing for the Chico State Wildcats college team, Chico Rooks, he was drafted to the San Jose Earthquakes as a first professional engagement.
Wondolowski played for the team even as they became Houston Dynamo but later, when the Earthquakes we reestablished, he switched sides and went back to the Earthquakes.
Chris retired in 2021, having been the top scorer in 2010 and 2012, one of the top scorers in MLS history, and the Most Valuable Player in MLS in 2012.