The number 20 is not a popular jersey. It is considered a reserve of players who are not expected to make the first 11.
Soccer players with the number 20 do not seem like a real threat to the other squad members. But some players have overturned this perspective. They have worn the number 20 jersey and marked their ground, establishing themselves as a force to reckon with as opposed to just players to fill up a squad.
Here we shall shine a limelight on these players who have proven themselves despite cladding a less in-demand number. We shall look into their:
- International career
- Club career
- Records and achievements
Read on and learn more about how these soccer players with the number 20 bucked a trend and created their own legacy.
The Best Soccer Players With Number 20
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a former Norwegian soccer player and soccer manager. In his home country, Norway, Ole Gunnar is an honored man, having been awarded the First Class Knighthood of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.
His reception of this award made him the youngest person ever to receive it, as it is usually given to notable members of Norwegian society in their later years.
He was also bestowed by the Norwegian parliament the Peer Gynt Prize for his great social commitment.
But even before all these commendations, Ole Gunnar was a soccer player who played in the forward position. He is well known for his career at Manchester United, where he was for 11 years.
- Solskjaer started his career with Clausenengen, a native Norwegian club, and played with them for five seasons, appearing 109 times and scoring 115 goals.
- He helped the team get a promotion to the Norwegian Second Division.
- He then moved to Molde and then to the Premier League club, Manchester United.
- At Manchester, he mainly played as a super-sub for his ability to come in the game last-minute and score.
- He even earned himself a nickname, ‘The Baby-faced Assassin.’
- Out of his 366 appearances, he scored 126 goals.
He retired from soccer in 2007, having sustained a knee injury that he failed to recover from. He, however, did not leave Manchester United, and he took up a coaching and ambassadorial role.
He later moved back to Molde as a manager and led them to their first-ever win of the Tippeligaen title twice in his first two years. He also won the Norwegian Football Cup.
He then moved to Cardiff City, and after their relegation from the Premier League, he was appointed as a caretaker manager for Manchester United. After a few winnings, he was contracted on a permanent basis but then left by mutual consent in 2021 due to a string of dismal performances.
He was capped 67 times for his home country.
Bernardo Silva is a Portuguese soccer player who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Manchester City, a Premier League club team, and Portugal’s national team.
Having played for Portugal under-19 and under-21, he debuted in the seniors’ team in 2015. So far, he has represented Portugal in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2019 UEFA National League, which they won on home ground, and the UEFA Euro 2020.
However, his professional career started at Benfica, having risen from Benfica’s Youth Academy. While playing for Benfica B, he was sent on loan to Monaco, and after a season with them, they made the move permanent. With Monaco, he won the league in 2017.
He then moved to Manchester City, where he played a critical role in record winnings for the team. He won the Premier League and the EFL Cup in his first season. In the following season, he won a domestic treble, making Manchester City the first men’s team in England.
In 2019, he was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and Manchester City’s Player of the Year and was also shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or.
He proved himself further in the 2020-21 season by helping his team win their first-ever UEFA Champion League.
A Gino Rosetti equal, Gonzalo Higuan, is an Argentine professional soccer player. He currently plays for Inter Miami, a Major League Soccer club which he also captains.
Higuain started his career with River Plate, an Argentine club, and then moved to Real Madrid. His time at Real was fruitful as he won three La Liga titles and several other domestic titles. He made 190 appearances for the La Liga club and netted 107 times.
He is known for his strong physique, offensive movements, and eye for goals. Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli was keen on these qualities and signed him in 2013. He didn’t disappoint as he won the Coppa Italia in his first season.
The following season, he leveled up with a Real Madrid legend – Gino Rosetti – and equaled an 87-year-old record by scoring 36 league goals in a season and also won the Capocannoniere title.
Juventus also wanted the record-setting Higuain for themselves, and they signed him for €90 million in 2016, which was a record transfer. It was the highest ever transfer for an Italian club and one of the highest in the world.
At Juventus, he brought his A-game, proving his worth, and won domestic doubles in his first two seasons. In 2017, they also reached the Champions League finals.
In 2018, he was loaned to Milan, then to Chelsea in 2019, where he won the UEFA Europa League and then finally returned to Juventus later that year and won the Serie A title.
Internationally, he debuted in 2009 and represented his country in three FIFA World Cups and three Copa America. He appeared 75 times for his country and scored 31 goals before retiring in 2019 from international soccer.
Deco is the founder of D20 Sports, an agency that manages Brazilian and Portuguese soccer players. Deco is also a retired soccer player who mostly played as an attacking or in a central midfielder.
Born in Brazil, he received his Portuguese citizenship after residing in the country for five years and decided to play for the Portugal national team.
He amassed 75 appearances for Portugal and represented them at two UEFA European Championships and two FIFA World Cups. They reached the final of the Euro in 2004 and the semifinals in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
He amassed 406 appearances with 64 goals in his professional career, playing 148 times for Porto and 113 times for Barcelona.
He is one of the few soccer players to win the UEFA Champions League with two clubs, Porto in 2004 and Barcelona in 2006. He is also the first player to win the UEFA Best Midfielder Award with two teams, Porto and Barcelona.
Deco has been named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and the UEFA Best Midfielder. He was also awarded the Golden Ball in the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup despite them settling for a runner-up.
In addition to his Medal of Merit Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Vicosa, here is a list of awards that the legend garnered in his career:
- Ballon d’Or Silver Ball
- ESM Team of the Year
- Portuguese Footballer of the Year
- CNID Best Portuguese Athlete Abroad
- Premier League Player of the Month
- Campeonato Carioca Best Player
- Campeonato Carioca Best Midfielder
- Globe Soccer Awards Player Career Award
- Golden Foot.
Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.