Soccer Players With The Number 6 (Midfield Greats)

Traditionally, the number six shirt is worn by a midfielder. The midfielder can either be a defensive midfielder, an offensive midfielder, or a holding midfielder.

The primary role of midfielders is to withhold the opponent and redistribute the ball forward to create scoring opportunities for the team.

Some soccer players with the number 6 have cemented their legacy in the soccer arena.

In this article, we look into their:

  • Life and talent in soccer
  • Milestones at different clubs and internationally
  • Personal recognition and accolades

Be sure to dive in and learn how remarkable the legends who have donned the number six are.

The Best Soccer Player With Number 6

The best ever midfielders to play the game of soccer. This list of players with the number 6 has a range of tacklers, passers, and goal creators. From the past and present, this selection of players will enhance your knowledge.

Bobby Moore

Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore OBE is a celebrated soccer player in England, his home country, and worldwide. Having been awarded the OBE, he was inducted into the English Football hall of fame for his impact on soccer.

Bobby Moore statue Wembley
Bobby Moore statue Wembley Stadium

In his career, he mostly played for West Ham. He had a 16-year stint at West Ham, captaining the team for ten years.

At the young age of 23, he became England’s national team captain. He led them to win the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

At West Ham, he won the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup. He was also the FWA Footballer of the Year and four-time West Ham Player of the Year. To celebrate his massive contribution to the club, in 2008, West Ham retired his number 6 shirt.

Apart from the OBE and the Hall of Fame induction, he has also been the 1966 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, on the BBC list of the 100 Greatest Britons, and named in the World Team of the 20th Century.

He is truly a national icon. He even has a bronze statue at the entrance of the Wembley Stadium.

Xavi Hernandez

The Prince of Asturias Awardee, Xavier Hernandez Creus, is also the second most decorated Spanish soccer player of all time. His passing ability, vision, ball retention, and positioning made him one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

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Esteghlal vs. Sadd 7th February 2017 03
Esteghlal vs. Sadd 7th February 2017 03

He won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles with Barcelona in his club career.

He later moved to Al Sadd, where he won four more trophies. He is also among a few players who have made over 1000 professional career appearances.

World Player

In these appearances, he has been third in FIFA World Player of the Year, third in the FIFA Ballon d’Or award twice, and a runner-up for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.

In addition to these recognitions, he was the IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker four times. In addition, he was included in the FIFA FIFPro World XI six times.

Furthermore, he was named to the UEFA Team of the Year five times. He was also named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team in 2020.

Making 133 appearances for his country, he was part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup team. He also played for France in the UEFA Euro in 2008 and 2012 and won.

Xavi Hernandez is currently the manager for his former club, Barcelona.

Franco Baresi

Franchino Baresi is a one-club man. He spent his 20-year career at AC Milan. While at the club, he was captain for 15 seasons.

Franco Baresi no. 6 going for the ball before Romario no. 11 Brazil v Italy 1994 FIFA World Cup Final Paolo Maldini no. 5 and Roberto Mussi no. 8 observe. ○ Soccer Blade
Franco Baresi (no. 6) going for the ball before Romário (no. 11), Brazil v Italy, 1994 FIFA World Cup Final; Paolo Maldini (no. 5) and Roberto Mussi (no. 8) observe. – Image by  Campioni Rossoneri

In his 20-year career, he established himself among the world’s greatest defenders of all time, and his number 6 shirt was retired by AC Milan in 1997.

Pele named Baresi among the 125 Greatest Living soccer players in 2004, and later in 2013, entered into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.

In addition, he was 19th in World Soccer Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest players of the 20th century.

Serie A 1979 80 AC Milan v Inter Milan Giuseppe and Franco Baresi
Serie A 1979 80 AC Milan v Inter Milan Giuseppe and Franco Baresi

While playing for AC Milan, he won three UEFA Champions League titles, six Serie A trophies, four Suppercoppa Italiana titles, two European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups.

Baresi also shone in international soccer tournaments. He played for Italy in the 1982 FIFA World Cup, 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1980 and 1988 UEFA European Championships, and the 1984 Olympics.

He is currently the youth team coach for Italy.

Paul Pogba

To secure the win for France in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Paul Labile Pogba scored the final goal. Pogba is an outstanding midfielder currently playing for Manchester United and his home country, France.

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Pogba playing for Manchester United v Leeds United 14 August 2021
Pogba playing for Manchester United v Leeds United 14 August 2021

He was captain of the under 20 France team that won the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. As a result, he was awarded Best Player of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.      

After starting his career at Le Havre, a Ligue 1 club, Pogba moved to Manchester United, but he did not make sufficient appearances. He then opted to move to Juventus, where his career took off.

Italy Titles

While in Italy, he helped Juventus take home four consecutive Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia titles, and two Suppercoppa Italiana titles.

Pogba was now a player to take note of. He was awarded the Golden Boy award in 2013 and the Bravo Award in 2015. Furthermore, he was named in the 2015 UEFA Team of the Year and the 2015 FIFA FIFPro World XI.

His star shone internationally, too, being awarded the Best Young Player Award at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He also played for France at the UEFA Euro 2016, where they were second, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they won.                                            


Jorge Resurreccion Merodio is the Spanish midfielder popularly known as Koke. Koke is a one-club man, playing for Atletico Madrid, which he captains. He also plays for Spain, his national team.

Having played in the Spanish under-21 team, which won the 2013 European Championship, Koke joined the seniors in the same year and has gone ahead to play for his country at two World Cups and two European Championships.

Koke has made over 500 appearances for Atletico Madrid.

They have won two La Liga titles, two Europa League titles, two UEFA Super Cup trophies, and a runner-up at two UEFA Championships League tournaments.

Thiago Alcantara

Thiago’s surname is not foreign in soccer arenas as he is the oldest child to a former soccer player Lomar do Nascimento Mazinho. His full name is Thiago Alcantara do Nascimento.

Coming from a soccer family, he joined Barcelona at 14. Later in 2009, he joined the main team.

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Thiago won four La Liga titles, a UEFA Champions League title, and a FIFA Club World Cup trophy with Barcelona.

Bayern Munich

To keep his fire burning, he moved to Bayern Munich, where his winning streak even gained momentum. In Bayern Munich, Thiago won seven Bundesliga titles in a row and a UEFA Champions League.

He started at the under-19 team and under-21 teams back in his home country. Soon he moved to play with the big boys and appeared for Spain in the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 and 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.

As a central midfielder, he currently plays for Liverpool, an English Premier League club.

Matthias Sammer

The last soccer stint that Matthias Sammer was as Sporting Director of Bayern Munich. He previously has been the manager of Borussia Dortmund, where he won the Bundesliga.

As a player, he started as a defensive midfielder but later in his career became a sweeper.

Playing with Borussia Dortmund, he won the Bundesliga and the DFL Supercup twice each, the UEFA Champions League, and the Intercontinental Cup.

In 1996, he won the European soccer player of the year. The same year while playing for his country Germany he was named the UEFA Euro tournament’s best player. He also won the Ballon d’Or.

Josef Masopust

Being regarded among the greatest midfielders of all time, Josef Masopust was named by Pele in 2004 among the top 125 greatest living soccer players.

His country, Czechoslovakia, also selected him as the Golden Player, the most outstanding player in the past half-century to celebrate UEFA’s Jubilee in 2003.

Masopust was capped by his country 63 times and has scored ten goals. He captained the team that reached the 1962 FIFA World Cup final.

He was also the European soccer player of the year in 1962.

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