In the past years, jersey number 21 has not been recognized by many in the soccer world. However, some prominent soccer players who have worn jersey number 21 have made historical achievements forever engraved in history over the years.
Some of the great soccer players who wore the number 21 shirt include; Andrea Pirlo, David Silva, and Ricardo Pereira.
- Early career
- Prime career
- Awards and accolades
- Late career
This article will focus on the legendary soccer players with the number 21 who have made a name in the game. The article will talk about their:
The Best Soccer Players With The Number 21
David Silva is a professional soccer player, a Spanish midfielder for Real Sociedad’s La Liga team. He is mainly a winger, although he can also play as an offensive midfielder.
David has acquired the moniker “Merlin” for his wizard-like passing talents despite playing with his left foot.
He began his career as a goalkeeper before switching positions to become a winger. During his 14th birthday, he was offered to join Valencia CF’s youth team.
He started his professional career at Valencia CF, playing over 160 games, and won the Copa del Rey in 2008.
- Two years later, Silva moved to the Premier League club, Manchester City, and played over 400 games.
- At Manchester City, he won two FA Cups, five League Cups, and four Premier League titles.
- Silva played at Manchester City for a collective ten seasons and left the team at the end of the 2019-20 season.
Silva got to break a record set by John Terry by becoming the youngest player to reach 200 wins in the Premier League. He has also been elected to the PFA Team of the Year three times.
He also represented his country, Spain, for 12 years, making his debut in 2006 and retiring in 2018. His partnership with Xavi and Andres Iniesta resulted in them winning the UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 2012.
He is the fourth-highest goalscorer in Spain with 35 goals and the second-highest assist provider with 29 assists. He is also among the only 13 Spanish players to amass over 100 caps.
Andrea Pirlo was born on 19th March 1979. The Italian professional soccer player is regarded as one of the best midfielders of all time and one of his generation’s finest midfielders.
He won the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006 and also won Serie A with AC Milan and Juventus.
He has always been associated with the number 21 shirt throughout his long career. However, he later revealed that this was for superstitious reasons. His father was born on the 21st. He got married on the 21st. He also made his debut on the 21st in the Italian league, Serie A.
In 2011, he was almost moving to Qatar on a very lucrative deal but decided against it one night at 9.21 pm. So the number 21 had some intrinsic significance to him.
How it Began
Pirlo started his professional career in 1995 as an attacking midfielder with hometown club Brescia. With Brescia, he won Serie B in 1997 and later signed for Serie A club Inter Milan. In 2001, he transferred to across the city rivals AC Milan.
At AC Milan, he transformed into a world-class player, winning two Serie A titles, two UEFA Championship League, two UEFA Super Cups, a FIFA Club World Cup, and a Copa Italia and a Supercoppa Italiana.
- In 2011, he transferred to Juventus, where he remarkably won four consecutive Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italiana titles, and another Coppa Italia.
- At the International level, Pirlo played 116 matches, ranking him the fifth-highest most capped Italian player of all time.
- In 2002, he made his senior debut and would later captain his national team. Furthermore, in 2006, he was instrumental in Italy’s triumph at the FIFA World Cup, where he won the Bronze Ball and was elected in the Team of the Tournament.
He continued with his spectacular performance, leading Italy to the 2012 UEFA European Championships finals. He represented his country in the UEFA European Championships in 2004 and 2008, in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and in the 2014 Confederations Cup.
He was named thrice as the Serie A Footballer of the Year. In 2012, he was elected the UEFA Team of the Year. Additionally, he finished in the top ten three times in Ballon d’Or and was named an MLS star in 2016.
He was also elected into the Italia Hall of Fame in 2019.
He played in various midfield positions due to his vision and passing accuracy. His fans knew him for composure in possession.
He also drew praise for his touch, and how he balanced the ball elegantly left many speechless. After retirement, he went to coach Juventus Serie C club.
Phillipp Lahm is a German professional soccer player who played as a full back. Lahm was the captain of the Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, having led them through numerous honors, including the 2013 UEFA Championship League.
He also captained his national team and led them to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In 2006, 2010, and 2014, he was included in the World Cup Team of the Tournament.
Also in the UEFA Team of the Tournament in 2008 and 2012.
- Additionally, he was included in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
- Lahm is right-footed but could play on both wings of the pitch due to his tactical intelligence and versatility.
- Particularly, he was known for his pace, technique, stamina, and precise tackling abilities, as well as his small stature that earned him the name ‘magic dwarf.’
He is regarded as one of the best full-backs of all time due to his tackling ability, precision to read the game, and leadership qualities
Ricardo rocked the number 21 jersey as he played for Leceister. He is a Portuguese soccer player who plays as a full-back for the Premier League club, Leicester City, and the Portugal national team.
When Pereira moved to Leicester City from Porto, he debuted on 10th August, playing the 2-1 away defeat against Manchester United.
On his 25th birthday, he scored his first goal and was also voted as his team’s Player’s Player of the Season.
He won 35 caps for Portugal at the youth level in his international career, scoring 12 goals. He played in the under-21 squad that finished second in the 2015 UEFA Championship, contributing with four starting appearances and netting in the 5-0 semi-final against Germany.
Honors he amassed while wearing the number 21 jersey include;
- FA Cup: 2020-21
- FA Community Shield: 2021
Obinze Angelo Ogbonna is an Italian professional soccer player who plays as a center back for the Premier League club, West Ham United, and Italy’s national team. He wears the number 21 shirt.
He appeared for the first time in the Europa League in the third qualifying round, where he netted against Astra Giurgiu at the Boleyn Ground.
On 11th December 2020, Ogbonna scored a winning goal in a 2-1 away win over Leeds United, which secured West Ham’s first win at Elland Road since 2000.
He is known for his outstanding physical attributes, being a competent tackler, good possession sense, and reading the game with accuracy.