Soccer Players With The Number 8 (Creative Stars)

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Many famous midfielders have worn the number 8 shirt. The number 8 represents dynamic, all-action center-fielders, whether as a box-to-box engine room presence or an attacking playmaker. From Steven Gerrard’s dogged work ethic to Frank Lampard’s late surges into the box, these midfielders helped their clubs and countries win numerous games. In this article, we shall look at soccer players with the number 8, learning about their contribution to soccer in terms of:

  • Their milestones
  • Their club career
  • Their international contribution

Legends have donned the number 8 jersey and created a legacy not to be forgotten. Read on and appreciate the number 8 players who showed up and made number 8 a number to talk about.

The Best Soccer Players With Number 8

The number 8 player in soccer is an advanced midfield player, responsible for creating attacking, assisting goals, and scoring. This list of number 8s is packed with players that will remain in the history books.

Gennaro Gattuso

Gennaro Gattuso was a combative and tenacious midfielder who played for AC Milan for the majority of his career, from 1999 to 2012. Gattuso won multiple accolades throughout his 13-year tenure at Milan, including two UEFA Champions League crowns. He was known for his never-ending work ethic, powerful tackling, and ability to break up play in front of Milan’s defense.


  • Date of Birth: January 9, 1978
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Teams played for:
    1. Perugia (1995-1997)
    2. Rangers FC (1997-1998)
    3. Salernitana (1998-1999)
    4. AC Milan (1999-2012)
    5. FC Sion (2012-2013)
  • Positions Played: Central Midfield, Defensive Midfield, Right Midfield
  • Trophies Won:
    1. Serie A: 7 times (2003–2004, 2010–2011)
    2. Coppa Italia: 2 times (2002–2003 , 2006–2007)
    3. Supercoppa Italiana: 5 times (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011)
    4. UEFA Champions League: 2 times (2002-2003, 2006-2007)
    5. FIFA Club World Cup: 1 time (2007)
    6. UEFA Super Cup: 2 times (2003, 2007)
    7. Serie B: 1 time (1987–1988)
  • Other significant achievements:
    1. FIFA World Cup: Winner in 2006 (with Italy)
    2. UEFA European Championship: Runner-up in 2000 (with Italy)
    3. FIFA Confederations Cup: Runner-up in 2013 (with Italy)
    4. UEFA European Under-21 Championship: Runner-up in 2000 (with Italy U21)
    5. UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2004-2005, 2005-2006
    6. UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2006
    7. FIFPro World XI: 2005, 2006
    8. A.C. Milan Hall of Fame Inductee
Kieran Gibbs Gennaro Gattuso Ignazio Abate Jack Wilshere Samir Nasri
Kieran Gibbs Gennaro Gattuso Ignazio Abate Jack Wilshere Samir Nasri

Gattuso also played for Italy at the international level, helping the country win the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Gattuso’s passionate box-to-box efforts came to define his style, despite his lack of technical finesse. Despite injuries, he remained an important player for Milan in his later career. Gattuso has managed teams such as AC Milan and Napoli sinc retiring in 2013.

Gattuso began his career as a youth prospect with Scottish club Rangers before heading to Italy with Salernitana and Pisa. But it was at AC Milan that he established himself as one of the world’s top defensive midfielders. Gattuso, nicknamed “Ringhio,” gave grit, determination, and leadership to Milan’s midfield, acting as a barrier between Pirlo, Seedorf, and Kaká farther up the field.

As a manager, he has demonstrated the same passion and energy when heading Italian clubs in Serie A. Milan fans remember Gattuso warmly for exemplifying the club’s fighting spirit throughout his illustrious playing career.

Gennaro Gattuso ● Best Moments In Career

Hristo Stoichkov

Hristo Stoichkov was a prolific striker who achieved considerable success for Bulgaria at both the club and international levels. Stoichkov was signed by Barcelona at the height of his abilities in the early 1990s, where he developed a lethal partnership with Romario. He won the Ballon d’Or for his efforts in helping Barcelona win their first European Cup in 1992.


  • Date of birth: February 8, 1966
  • Nationality: Bulgarian
  • Teams played for:
    1. Maritsa Plovdiv (Youth)
    2. CSKA Sofia
    3. Barcelona
    4. Parma
    5. Al-Nassr
    6. Kashiwa Reysol
    7. Chicago Fire
    8. D.C. United
  • Positions played: Left Winger, center-Forward, Second Striker
  • Trophies won:
    1. Bulgarian Cup: 1985, 1987 (with CSKA Sofia)
    2. Bulgarian A PFG: 1987 (with CSKA Sofia)
    3. European Cup Winners’ Cup: 1989 (with Barcelona)
    4. La Liga: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 (with Barcelona)
    5. Copa del Rey: 1990, 1997 (with Barcelona)
    6. Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994 (with Barcelona)
    7. UEFA Champions League: 1992 (with Barcelona)
    8. UEFA Super Cup: 1992 (with Barcelona)
    9. FIFA World Cup: 1994 (with Bulgaria)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA World Cup Golden Boot: 1994
    • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1994
    • European Golden Shoe: 1990, 1994
    • Ballon d’Or: 1994
    • FIFA World Player of the Year: 1994

Stoichkov was well-known for his work rate, toughness, and ability to score goals. He could equally well play on the wing or through the middle. Stoichkov led Bulgaria to the World Cup semi-finals in 1994, scoring 37 goals in 83 games and winning the Golden Boot.

Stoichkov left Barcelona in 1995 and had brief spells with Parma and Barcelona again before finishing his career in the late 1990s with clubs in Japan and the United States. Stoichkov, on the other hand, was at his best in La Liga, when he was crowned La Liga Foreign Player of the Year twice.

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In addition to his Ballon d’Or, Stoichkov won the European Golden Shoe Award in 1990 for scoring the most goals on the continent while playing for CSKA Sofia. He is Bulgaria’s all-time leading scorer and one of the country’s best players. Stoichkov’s passion and scoring ability made him a crowd favorite wherever he played.

Hristo Stoichkov ● Bulgarian Legend ● Skills & Goals

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is considered one of Chelsea’s all-time greats. From 2001 to 2014, he had 13 productive seasons at Stamford Bridge, becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. Lampard, who played in a box-to-box midfield role for Chelsea, scored over 200 goals in all competitions, with his late surges into the box becoming legendary.


  • Date of birth: June 20, 1978
  • Nationality: English
  • Teams played for:
    1. West Ham United (1995-2001)
    2. Chelsea (2001-2014)
    3. Manchester City (loan, 2014-2015)
    4. New York City FC (2015–2016)
  • Positions played:
    • Central Midfield
    • Attacking Midfield
  • Trophies won:
    1. Premier League (3 times with Chelsea)
    2. FA Cup (4 times with Chelsea)
    3. EFL Cup (2 times with Chelsea)
    4. UEFA Champions League (1 time with Chelsea)
    5. UEFA Europa League (1 time with Chelsea)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball (2012)
    • PFA Players’ Player of the Year (2004, 2005)
    • FWA Footballer of the Year (2005, 2010)
    • Premier League Player of the Season (2004, 2005)
    • Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer (211 goals)
Frank Lampard 2012 FIFA Club World Cup
Frank Lampard 2012 FIFA Club World Cup

He was the recipient of 12 major prizes, including three Premier League titles and the 2012 Champions League. Lampard also served England admirably, garnering over 100 caps and scoring 29 goals. After stints with Manchester City and New York City FC, he retired in 2016.

Lampard has found success as a manager after retiring from football. In his first season as manager of his beloved Chelsea, he led them to a top-four position and the the FA Cup final. Lampard was fired in 2021 after demonstrating promise as a young, energetic coach. He subsequently managed Derby County for over a year before taking over at Everton in 2022, where he saved the club from relegation in his first season.

Lampard is recognized as one of Chelsea’s all-time greats, both on and off the field, for his excellent playing career and successful start in management. He is remembered for his renowned late-game goal-scoring exploits.

Frank Lampard Moments of Genius 😵

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders of his generation. From 1998 to 2015, he spent his whole professional club career at Liverpool, captaining the team for many years. Gerrard won a slew of awards, including the Champions League, two FA Cups, and the UEFA Cup. Although Gerrard never won the Premier League, he came dangerously close on multiple times and was the heart and soul of the Liverpool club.


  • Date of birth: May 30, 1980
  • Nationality: English
  • Teams played for:
    • Liverpool FC (1998-2015)
    • Los Angeles Galaxy (2015-2016)
  • Positions played:
    • Central Midfield
    • Attacking Midfield
    • Defensive Midfield
  • Trophies won:
    • UEFA Champions League: 2004-05
    • UEFA Cup: 2000-01
    • FA Cup: 2000-01, 2005-06
    • League Cup: 2000-01, 2002-03, 2011-12
    • UEFA Super Cup: 2001
    • FIFA Club World Cup: 2001
    • Community Shield: 2001, 2006
    • PFA Young Player of the Year: 2000-01
    • PFA Team of the Year: 2000-01, 2001-02, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2013-14
    • FWA Footballer of the Year: 2005-06
    • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2004-05
    • UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: 2004-05
    • FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
    • Ballon d’Or Bronze Award: 2005
  • Other significant achievements:
    • Most appearances for Liverpool FC: 710
    • Liverpool FC all-time leading goalscorer from midfield: 186 goals
    • England national team: 114 caps, 21 goals
    • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Steven Gerrard 2006 08 Shirt for Livertpool ○ Soccer Blade
Referee Alan Wiley shows Nemanja Vidic of Man Utd a Red Card. Premier League match at Old Trafford between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC on 14 March 2009. Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4

He won 114 caps for England and scored 21 goals, including being captain when they reached the World Cup quarterfinals in 2006. Gerrard, known for his tireless box-to-box running and goal-scoring abilities from midfield, set the example by his pure drive to win.

Gerrard retired from playing in 2016 and worked as a coach at Liverpool’s junior department before taking over as manager of Rangers in 2018. In his first role, he won the Scottish Premiership in his third season, ending Rangers’ nine-year drought for a domestic trophy. Gerrard subsequently took over as manager of Aston Villa in the Premier League in 2021, leading them to a 14th-place finish in his first season.

Gerrard, widely regarded for all he accomplished as a player via natural talent and unwavering effort, hopes to emulate his success as a manager after learning from some of the game’s greatest coaches. As one of Liverpool’s most renowned modern players, he remains a hero to the club’s fans.

He has led Rangers, a Scottish club, through an unbeaten winning season in his managerial career. And then a less than successful managerial apointment at Aston Villa.

Steven Gerrard ● Ultimate Skills Show 1998–2015

Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is widely acknowledged to be one of the best midfielders of all time. From 1996 until 2018, he spent practically his entire professional career at Barcelona, where he won 32 trophies, including 9 La Liga crowns and 4 UEFA Champions League trophies. From 2006 until 2016, Iniesta was a vital member of Spain’s successful national squad, helping them win two European Championships and one World Cup.

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  • Date of birth: May 11, 1984
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Teams played for:
    • Albacete Balompié (youth career)
    • FC Barcelona (2002-2018)
    • Vissel Kobe (2018-2023)
    • Emirates Club (2023-present)
  • Positions played:
    • Central midfield
    • Attacking midfield
  • Trophies won and how many times each won:
    • UEFA Champions League (4 times): 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15
    • La Liga (9 times): 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18
    • Copa del Rey (6 times): 2008-09, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18
    • FIFA Club World Cup (3 times): 2009, 2011, 2015
    • UEFA Super Cup (3 times): 2009, 2011, 2015
    • Spanish Super Cup (8 times): 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018
    • Emperor’s Cup (1 time): 2019
    • Japanese Super Cup (1 time): 2020
    • AFC Champions League (1 time): 2020
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA World Cup Winner with the Spanish national team in 2010
    • UEFA European Championship Winner with the Spanish national team in 2008 and 2012
    • UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in 2012
    • FIFA FIFPro World XI (multiple times)
    • UEFA Team of the Year (multiple times)
    • La Liga Best Spanish Player Award (multiple times)
    • Prince of Asturias Award for Sports in 2010
    • UEFA European Championship Player of the Tournament in 2012
    • FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2010
    • IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker (multiple times)
FC Barcelona Santos best 2011. ○ Soccer Blade

His ball control and passing range allowed him to command games from central midfield. Iniesta was also recognized for scoring game-winning goals, such as his World Cup final goal against the Netherlands in 2010. He spent the final years of his career at Vissel Kobe in Japan after leaving Barcelona.

Iniesta was undoubtedly the best midfielder in the world between 2008 and 2012, winning various individual honors such as UEFA Best Player in Europe. He was the beating heart of Barcelona’s and Spain’s tiki-taka passing style, which came to define a generation. Iniesta possessed exceptional technical ability, close control, vision, and was press-proof.

He always made the basic pass to maintain possession and was constantly finding space between the lines. Iniesta retired in 2018 as one of Barcelona’s most decorated players and the prototypical Spanish midfielder, famous for his selflessness, work rate, and big-game contributions across a long career.

Andrés Iniesta Moments of Genius 😵

Ian Wright

Ian Wright is regarded an Arsenal icon, having enjoyed seven brilliant years with the club in the 1990s. The London-born striker began his career late, breaking into Crystal Palace’s first team at the age of 21. Wright joined Arsenal in 1991 after scoring over 100 goals for Palace.


  • Date of birth: November 3, 1963
  • Nationality: England
  • Teams played for:
    1. Crystal Palace (1985-1991)
    2. Arsenal (1991-1998)
    3. West Ham United (1998-1999)
    4. Nottingham Forest (1999)
    5. Celtic (1999-2000)
    6. Burnley (2000)
  • Positions played: Centre-Forward
  • Trophies won:
    1. Premier League (1997-1998) – Arsenal
    2. FA Cup (1992-1993, 1997-1998) – Arsenal
    3. League Cup (1992-1993) – Arsenal
    4. Charity Shield (1991, 1998) – Arsenal
    5. UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1993-1994) – Arsenal
  • Other significant achievements:
    1. PFA Young Player of the Year (1991-1992)
    2. FWA Footballer of the Year (1992-1993)
    3. Premier League Golden Boot (1992-1993, 1994-1995)
    4. Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer with 185 goals
    5. Inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame (2005)

He went on to score over 150 goals for Arsenal, helping the club win three Premier League crowns as well as several domestic competitions. Wright forged a lethal partnership with Alan Smith, who was known for his work ethic and clinical finishing abilities. Wright has worked as a soccer pundit for the BBC and ITV since retiring in 2000.

Despite making his debut later in his career, Wright demonstrated that he could excel at the top levels of the game with hard work and perseverance. Off the field, Wright has used his humanitarian endeavors to inspire disadvantaged youngsters. He has also written a well-received autobiography. Wright, adored by Arsenal supporters for his passionate play, created a legacy as one of the club’s all-time finest attackers.

Ian Wright, Satchmo [Best Goals]

Juninho Pernambucano

Juninho Pernambucano is widely acknowledged to be one of the finest set piece experts of all time. Born in 1975 in Brazil, he made his professional debut with Sport Recife in 1993 and immediately rose to prominence due to his exceptional free kick talents. Juninho rose to prominence in France with Lyon from 2001 to 2009, helping them win seven Ligue 1 titles after playing with Deportivo La Corua in Spain.


  • Date of birth: January 30, 1975
  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Teams played for:
    1. Sport Recife (1993–2001, 2011–2013)
    2. Vasco da Gama (2001-2009)
    3. Al-Gharafa (2009-2011)
    4. New York Red Bulls (2013)
  • Positions played: Midfielder
  • Trophies won:
    1. Campeonato Pernambucano: 4 times (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
    2. Copa do Nordeste: 1 time (1994)
    3. Campeonato Carioca: 2 times (2003, 2004)
    4. Copa Libertadores: 1 time (1998)
    5. Copa Mercosur: 1 time (2000)
    6. Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 1 time (2000)
    7. Copa do Brasil: 1 time (2011)
    8. Qatari Stars League: 2 times (2010-11, 2011-12)
    9. Qatari Emir Cup: 1 time (2012)
    10. AFC Champions League: 1 time (2011)
  • Other significant achievements:
    1. FIFA Confederations Cup: 2 times (2005, 2009)
    2. Copa America: Runner-up (2007)
    3. FIFA World Cup: Quarter-finalist (2006)
    4. South American Footballer of the Year: 1 time (2005)
    5. Campeonato Pernambucano Top Scorer: 1 time (1994)
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Juninho Pernambucano
Juninho Pernambucano

He scored over 70 goals and assisted on countless others while playing for Lyon, solidifying his status as a free-kick expert. Juninho also played for Brazil on the international stage from 1999 to 2006, scoring six goals in 40 games. Due to his power, precision, and ability to bend the ball, his free kicks for both club and nation left fans in awe.

Juninho spent time in the MLS with the New York Red Bulls after leaving Lyon. He finished his playing career with Vasco da Gama and Itumbiara in Brazil. Juninho has worked as a sporting director and young coach off the field, as well as taking part in Legends games. Juninho’s ability to place the ball exactly where he wanted altered the way free kicks were viewed.

He is widely regarded as the best free kick taker of all time due to his highlight reel goals. Using various strategies, he could score from any angle or distance. Juninho will go down in history as one of the most technically gifted players Brazil has ever produced.

Juninho Top 13 Ridiculous Free Kick Goals That No One Expected

Juninho made his international debut in 1999. He scored six goals in 40 appearances before he retired from international soccer after the 2006 World Cup.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte was a successful midfielder in his playing career. He began his professional career with Lecce in 1987 and spent the majority of his time at Juventus from 1991 to 2004, amassing over 500 appearances. Conte won five Serie A titles and one UEFA Cup with Juventus. He was recognized in midfield for his combative, hardworking manner, adept at retrieving possession and beginning assaults.


  • Name: Antonio Conte
  • Date of Birth: July 31, 1969
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Teams Played For:
    • Lecce (Youth Club)
    • Juventus (Senior Career)
  • Positions Played:
    • Central Midfield
    • Defensive Midfield
    • Right Midfield
  • Trophies Won:
    • Serie A (5 times with Juventus)
    • Coppa Italia (1 time with Juventus)
    • Supercoppa Italiana (4 times with Juventus)
    • UEFA Champions League (1 time with Juventus as a player)
  • Other Significant Achievements:
    • UEFA Cup (Runner-up with Juventus)
    • FIFA World Cup (Played for Italy national team)
    • UEFA Euro (Played for Italy national team)
    • Serie B (Promotion with Lecce)
  • Managerial Achievements:
    • Serie A (3 times with Juventus)
    • FA Cup (1 time with Chelsea)
    • Premier League (1 time with Chelsea)
    • UEFA Europa League (1 time with Inter Milan)
    • Serie B (Promotion with Bari)
    • FIFA World Cup (Managed Italy national team)
    • UEFA Euro (Managed Italy national team)

Between 1994 and 2000, Conte gained 20 caps for the Italian national team, helping Italy reach the Euro 2000 final. Although he never scored for Italy, he was an important defensive player and midfield captain. Injuries hampered his playing career in later years, although Conte remained a key squad member for Juventus during their success under Lippi and Ancelotti.

Conte established himself as a solid midfielder with good tactical awareness and defensive skills, despite not being a superstar himself. He was an important member of the Juventus squads that dominated Italian soccer in the 1990s. Conte’s dedication, work ethic, and ability to understand the game laid the groundwork for his future success as a manager. After more than 15 years of professional football, he retired in 2004, with a Serie A winner’s medal at Juventus. Conte’s playing career created the framework for his eventual shift into management.

Conte’s first significant management position was at Juventus from 2011 to 2014, where he led the club to three consecutive Serie A titles. He then led Italy’s national team to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals. From 2016 to 2018, Conte was a huge success at Chelsea, winning the Premier League in his first season and the FA Cup in his second. He has also led Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in almost a decade in the 2020-21 season. Later in 2021, he joined Tottenham Hotspur as a coach.

Conte is widely considered as one of the top managers in the world, with a reputation for his fierce and passionate style as well as tactical versatility. He prefers to use formations such as 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 to best suit the strengths of his teams. Conte’s style also includes defense, as he wants discipline, organization, and pressure without the ball.

Antonio Conte | Juventus | 1991-2004

Some of soccer’s finest midfielders have worn the number 8 jersey. While wearing the number 8, players such as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Andres Iniesta dominated the middle of the field for club and country. While it lacks the iconic stature of numbers like 7 or 10, the number 8 shirt has produced a plethora of excellent midfielders, demonstrating its place among soccer’s most famous digits.

8e83cfb63d54c9260fa694b185c6bca8?s=150&d=mp&r=g ○ Soccer Blade
Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade

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.

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