Soccer Players With The Number 5 (Defending and Passing Masters)

There were no jersey numbers in the early days of modern sports. Names, too, were not an option. Instead, players began to wear jersey numbers throughout time so that spectators could recognize them and the media could identify them. With this, some numbers became more important than others.

In soccer, jersey number five is mainly reserved for the center-back position, but there are some exceptions. Some players redefined the number five by wearing it while playing other positions, making it a popular jersey number. 

This post presents the following about iconic number 5s:

  • Club and International appearances
  • Individual Awards
  • Team Awards
  • Record-breaking careers

Please put on your jersey, and let’s go in the field and get to know the soccer players with the number five, both active and retired.

The Best Soccer Players With The Number 5

Alongside the number 4, the number 5 is normally the other central defender. This list has some of the best ever center backs, but there are a couple of amazing midfielders in the hall of fame to wear number 5.

Carlos Puyol

Carlos Puyol Saforcada is a Barcelona legend and a one-club man. He is regarded as the best captain for Barcelona, having been the captain from 2004 to 2014 when he retired.

Carlos Puyol playing for Barcelona Vs. Rangers
Carlos Puyol playing for Barcelona Vs. Rangers

He was a central defender but could also fill in the right-back position. His defensive and leadership skills made him exceptional.

He appeared 593 times for Barcelona and won 18 major club titles, including six La Liga titles and 3 Champions Leagues.

Internationally, Puyol played for Spain and was capped 100 times. He played in the team that won the 2008 Euro and the 2010 World Cup.

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a former German soccer player and manager.

Franz Beckenbauer Levantando La Copa Del Mundo
Franz Beckenbauer Levantando La Copa Del Mundo

He is a well-decorated player and has bagged many titles and accolades in his career.

  • Two-time European soccer player of the year
  • One of the three men in the world to have won the World Cup as a player and a manager
  • The first captain to win the World Cup and the European Championship at the international level and the European Cup at the club level.
  • The first soccer player to win three European Cups as captain
  • Named in the World Team of the 20th Century
  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team 2002
  • Ballon d’Or Dream Team 2020
  • FIFA 100 of the world’s greatest living players in 2004
  • Inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame
  • Chaired the German 2006 FIFA World Cup organizing committee
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Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Yazid Zidane is a former French soccer player and one of the most revered coaches in soccer.

Football against poverty 2014 Zidane et Nedved
Football against poverty 2014 Zidane et Nedved

He was nicknamed Zizou. He was an attacking midfielder best known for his ball control, techniques, and passing skills. This elegance and vision in the field saw him appreciated with various titles and accolades.

  • FIFA World Cup Player of the Year: 1998, 2000, and 2003
  • Ballon d’Or, 1998
  • Legion of Honour, 1998
  • Player of the tournament, UEFA Euro 2000
  • Golden Ball, 2006 World Cup
  • FIFA 100 world’s greatest living players
  • Best European soccer player of the past half-century in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll
  • He is one of eight players to win the World Cup, the Champion League, and the Ballon d’Or.

As coach:

  • First Coach to win the Champions League thrice consecutively
  • Best FIFA Men’s Coach, 2017

Fernando Redondo

Fernando Carlos Redondo Neri is a retired defensive midfielder from Argentina. He is known for his offensive and creative contribution.

Redondo played for a decade in the La Liga before moving to Italy, where injuries curtailed his career.

While at La Liga, he mainly played for Real Madrid, where he won the La Liga Championships twice and also bagged two Champions League.

When he moved to Italy, he joined Milan and won a Champions League.

Internationally, Redondo represented Argentina in the 1994 World Cup and won the 1992 King Fahd Cup and the 1993 Copa America.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Gavin Ferdinand is a television pundit for BT Sport and a former English soccer player. He is among the most decorated English soccer player and regarded by many as one of England’s greatest players ever.

Rio started his career at West Ham and was later transferred to Leeds. However, his impressive play saw him move from Leeds to Manchester United.

His career thrived at Manchester United despite a missed drug test that saw him out of the game for eight months, missing half the Premier League 2003/2004 season, FA Cup where Manchester United won, and the Euro 2004 international competition.

Rio quickly established himself and started receiving accolades, including the PFA Team of the Year, which he won four times in five years after returning to the field.

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While at Manchester United, he won 14 trophies, including six Premier League titles.


Jorge Luiz Frello Filho is an Italian soccer player currently playing for the Premier League club Arsenal.

He plays as a defensive midfielder and a deep-lying playmaker. He is also considered one of the best midfielders in the world.

In 2021, Jorginho was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and was third in the Ballon d’Or.

Jorginho started his professional career with the Verona youth team. He was later sent on loan to Sambonifacese. In 2014, he moved to Napoli and played 160 games there, winning the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana.

In 2018, he moved to Chelsea and won the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Champions League.


Sergio Busquests Burgos is a Spanish soccer player who captains the La Liga club Barcelona and his national team, Spain. He plays as a defensive mid and is famous for directing gameplay through short, calm passes.

Busquests is a one-club man, having been with Barcelona since 2008, appearing for the club over 600 times. At Barcelona, he won a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and two UEFA Champions League.

Internationally, he has appeared over 130 times for the Spanish side. He played in the team that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 tournaments.

Furthermore, he has appeared for the country in two other World Cups and two European Championships.

Harry Maguire

Jacob Harry Maguire is an English professional soccer player currently playing for the Premier League club, Manchester United.

He plays as a center back for the club and his national team, England.

He started his career at Sherfield United, where he appeared in 166 games. While here, he was the player of the year three times and the PFA Team of the Year for League 1 three times.

He moved to Hull City in 2014 and Leicester City in 2017. Two years later, Maguire moved to Manchester United and was appointed the club’s captain in six months.

He has also represented England in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2020.


Marcos Aoás Corrêa is a Brazilian professional soccer player popularly known as Marquinhos. He plays for a Ligue 1 club, Paris Saint-Germain. He is a defender but can also play as a right-back or a defensive midfielder.

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Marquinhos started his career at Corinthian but later moved to Roma, where he played only one season.

Later, in 2013, he moved to his current club, where he has won 23 trophies, including six Ligue 1 titles.

Internationally, he debuted for the Brazil national team in 2013. He has represented the country in major tournaments, including the 2014 Toulon Tournament, where they won.

The 2015 Copa America, Copa America Centenario, and the 2016 Olympics won gold. In addition, he was in the 2018 FIFA World Cup squad and 2019, and the 2021 Copa America team, where they won the 2019 title.

He captains both his club, Barcelona, and the Brazil national team.

Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cavannaro is a former Italian soccer player and coach. He is regarded as one of the best defenders of all time. He spent his career in Italy playing Napoli, Parma, Internazionale, Juventus, and Real Madrid.

Later in his career, he moved to Dubai and played for Al-Ahli, where he retired.

Internationally, Cavannaro amassed 136 caps for the Italian side, making him the second all-time appearance holder after Gianluigi Buffon and the most capped defender for Italy.

He played in the team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup and was awarded the Silver Ball after being named the tournament’s second-best player.

He also won the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year and became the only defender to have won that title in history. In 2006, he also won the Ballon d’Or, which made one of only three defenders to have won the award.

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