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Who knows what football shirt numbers mean?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I don't have a particular interest in football, however it was on the telly in the bar of the hotel I'm spending tonight in. I noticed that there was no apparent logic in the numbers assigned to the players. The one I first noticed was 15, so I spent an untruthful few minutes wondering how, when there are 11 players in the team, he could acquire this number. Then I noticed he wasn't alone in wearing a number greater than 11.

    Here's my best guess. The players stand in a line before the match and the captain's take turns to pick their teams like we did at school. The number they get is derived from the order they were chosen.

    Does anyone know otherwise?
  2. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    It's a dynamic process with players in each team being ranked according to their popularity in the FIFA16 game. So the numbers on their shirts can change on a weekly basis.

    Elite "High5" players are those whose number has never dropped below 5. There are very few of those; no British player has ever achieved it.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Each player has a squad number - players newer to the club have higher (than 11) numbers, as do more 'junior' members of the club. Squad numbers can be changed for the start of a new season, with some players moving up the squad as they are more in line for being picked more regularly. The first choice goalkeeper is always number 1, of course. .
  4. VanEyssen

    VanEyssen Established commenter

    More than 20 years to notice this. You could also have seen such numbering in the 1966 world cup final.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    It is the number of millions the player wearing the shirt earns each week.
  6. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I can remember when teams had 12 players - the 11 in the team, and the reserve... and I can (almost) to this day cite the Chelsea team that won the FA cup for the very first time for that club, together with their shirt numbers.

    Edit - just checked - they had 19 players..... but the shirt numbers corresponded to their positions on the field.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  7. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Unless the number has been retired as is the case at Rushden and Diamonds.
  8. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I think it has changed though. It used to be that 9 was the hard nut centre forward and 7 the club genius player, the playmaker. Then Beckenbaur (?) made 5 synonymous with sweeper, and Maradonna especially made 10 the ultimate playmaker/scorer/big head/big I am.

    As English teams became more influenced by foreign players and tactics, we took on the above. There are no feared number 9 hard nuts now, everyone wants to be number 10.
  9. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I would partially agree with Middlemarch, but not entirely.
    Since the squad numbering system came in (1992, although used in world cups etc for decades), players have been free to pick their own number when they join - some go for favourites, or near favourites if the one they want is chosen. "Special" numbers are 7,9 and 10 as they were traditionally taken by the goal scores/creative players. Hence the phrase "he's playing as a number 10", even though he may be wearing 27.
    Traditionally 1-11 all had positional significance, although not as FIXED positions as in rugby league/union.
    45 is statistically relatively common as 4+5=9; as are numbers with 7 in.
    Number 13 is often avoided.
    Occasionally numbers are "retired" - eg in respect if a player had died.
    Liverpool currently have no number 1 or number 5 or number 8 in their squad. The last 2 Liverpool first choice goalies have worn 23 (Mignolet) and 25 (Reina). No-one currently has number 1 as the last owner (reserve keeper Jones) left last year.
    I think it would be unusual if an outfield player chose number 1 !
  10. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    My old Rugby Union team struggled to need a number 15 shirt of a Saturday.
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're right - but I couldn't be bothered to be that detailed.
  12. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Is there a link between the choice of number the players wear and the sale of football shirts to the public?
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    1 goalkeeper
    2 right back
    3 left back
    4 ?
    5 centre half
    7 right wing
    9 centre forward
    11 right wing
  14. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    4 Right half
    6 Left half
    8 Inside right
    10 Inside left
    I do seem to remember. George played in 7 and 11 I think.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  15. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Not simultaneously, in case the pedants strike.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    My team was Man U in the 70s.

    MY 11 was Gordon Hill. 7 Steve Coppell. Brian Greenhoff at 5. His brother at 8?

    Stuart Pearson (carthorse) at 9.

    Alex Stepney in goal (Gawd help us).

    Lou Macari. Martin Buchan.

    But 7 and 11 were my favourites. Those nippy little wingers. Loved them.
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Sorry, I got carried away. 11 is LEFT wing.
  18. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I remember the 2 and 3 as the fullbacks, the 7 and 11 as the wingers. Them were the days. When goalies always wore green.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
    monicabilongame likes this.

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