The number 8 soccer jersey is not as iconic as the 7 (wingers or second striker), 9 (center striker), or 10 (playmaker). But for sure, anyone who represents this jersey has an important responsibility in the game.
Box-to-box midfielders with a keen eye for the goal mostly wear the number eight jersey. These midfielders are keen on creating chances for the team to score. But other soccer players in other positions other than the mid have also rocked the number 8 jersey.
In this article, we shall look at soccer players with the number 8 learning 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.
Juninho is most notably known for his excellent free-kick-taking skills, which earned him the record for most goals scored from a free-kick to date. In addition, he is the legend of the knuckleball technique that he invented.
The former Brazilian footballer is currently the sporting director for Olympique Lyonnais, a French Club.
His career started at the Brazilian club Sport do Recife but picked momentum after joining Vasco da Gama. At Vasco da Game, he won six tiles and scored over 100 goals.
After joining Olympique Lyonnais in 2001, he scored 100 goals in 343 appearances and went ahead to win seven consecutive league titles.
Juninho made his international debut in 1999. He scored six goals in 40 appearances before he retired from international football after the 2006 World Cup.
Gattuso is mainly remembered for his career at AC Milan, but he had played for Perugia, Salernitana, and Rangers.
At AC Milan, he won the Serie A title, the Champions League, the Coppa Italia, the Italian Supercup, the UEFA Supercup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Despite him not having any special technical skills, he was very aggressive in the field, which allowed him to win the ball all the time. He also was very good at leading his teammates, hence his captainship at AC Milan.
Gattuso’s collaboration with Andrea Pirlo was essential to the playing styles for both of them. It allowed them to become fruitful pillars both at the club level and internationally. Their tag-team play was crucial for the 2006 Italy World Cup Win.
Hristo was a prolific forward, which earned him the nickname El Pistolero (The Gunslinger), but he was also hot-tempered in the pitch giving him the nickname ‘The Dagger.’
Hristo represented his country, Bulgaria, in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Although his team finished fourth, he won the World Cup Golden Boot for most goals in the tournament and the World Cup Bronze Ball for the third-best player in the tournament.
In 1990, Hristo was the top scorer in Europe while playing for CSKA Sofia and won the European Golden Shoe.
After joining Barcelona later in 1990, he became part of the team that won four consecutive La Liga titles.
He is currently a football commentator for TUDN.
The Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Frank Lampard, is a former English player and manager.
Frank James Lampard started his career in West Ham where his father, Frank Lampard Sr., used to play, but he made his career at West Ham’s London rival, Chelsea.
He is one of Chelsea’s greatest players and among the greatest midfielders of his generation. Lampard holds a Premier League record for most goals by a midfielder in the Premier League and the highest goals scored from outside the box.
In his impressive 13 year tenure at Chelsea, Lampard established himself as the all-time leading goal scorer at the club. In addition, he won the Premier League title thrice, FA Cups four times, Football League Cups twice, a UEFA Champions League, and a UEFA Europa League.
Frank has capped 106 times nationally after his debut in 1999. He represented his nation in three FIFA World Cups and one UEFA Euro cup and scored 29 goals.
A Premier League Hall of Fame inductee, Steve George Gerrard, is the current manager for Aston Villa, a Premier League club and former Liverpool central midfielder.
Gerrard also played for the England national team captaining the team 38 times out of his 114 caps. He scored 21 goals for the country at three UEFA European Championships and three FIFA World Cups.
Despite winning a UEFA Championship Cup, two FA Cups, and three League Cups, he never got to win the Premier League.
He has been awarded the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, FWA Player of the Year, and Manager of the Year by PFA Scotland.
He has led club Rangers, a Scottish club through an unbeaten winning season in his managerial career.
Andres Iniesta is the most decorated Spanish soccer player of all time. Having played for his country in Under-16, Under-19, and Under-21, he made his first international senior debut in 2006.
He played in the team that won the UEFA Euro 2008 and scored the winning goal at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Iniesta led his team to a second consecutive continental cup win at the UEFA Euro 2012.
At the club level, Iniesta gave 22 years to Barcelona, where he won nine La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League cups. He played in the team that won two historic trebles, in 2009 and 2015.
Iniesta has earned his name in:
- FIFA FIFPro World XI: 9 times
- UEFA Team of the Year: 6 times
- All-time UEAF Euro XI
He has also won:
- UEFA Best Player in Europe
- IFFHS World’s Best Player in Europe
He is currently the captain of a Japanese club, Vissel Kobe.
Ian Wright is a former soccer player and television personality. After his field career, he became very active in the media in soccer-related matters. He is currently a commentator at BBC Sports and ITV.
He played for Crystal Palace, Arsenal, West Ham, Celtic, Burnley, and Nottingham Forest in his career. While at Arsenal, he got to win the Premier League.
He is better known for his finishing aggression, speed, and agility. Wright is the second-highest goal scorer for Arsenal and third for Crystal Palace.
Internationally, Wright appeared 33 times for England and scored nine goals.
Antonio Conte is a former soccer player with an impressive record. He also has an outstanding career as a manager.
Conte started his career at Lecce and later moved to Juventus, becoming one of the most decorated Juventus players. He was the captain of Juventus, and they won five Serie A titles and a UEFA Champions League cup.
He also played for his country, Italy, in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2000.
As a manager, he posted good results, starting with Bari in 2006, where he led them to a Serie B title. In 2008, he led Siena to promotion from Serie B. Three years later, he took over Juventus and led them to three consecutive Serie A titles. He then took over the national team for Italy and later moved to Premier League to manage Chelsea.
Chelsea won the Premier League title during his first season in the team, then the FA Cup in his second season. A year later, he joined Milan and led them to the final of the UEFA Europa League in his first season and the Serie A title in his second season.
Later in 2021, he joined Tottenham Hotspur as a coach.
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.