The number 10 jersey is a figure traditionally reserved for the playmaker-in-chief, that's why the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi all left an indelible mark in football wearing it on their back. It is a special number which is it to say that only players capable of executing extraordinary things are privileged to walk into the pitch with it.
At Manchester United, the number 10 jersey has been worn by precisely ten players in their history, those whose contributions have been integral to the club's success over the years. Without further ado, take a look at these ten players and the part they played in the club's success story.
The following statistics will be arranged from the earliest to the latest players;
1- Denis Law (1962-73)
He was one of the club's greatest players who joined from Torino in 1962. In the nine years that he spent at Old Trafford, Law won the Ballon d'or in 1964, the European cup in 1968 and two first division league titles scoring 237 goals in the process. This tally makes him the third all time top scorer at the club behind Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney.
2- Lou Macari (1973-84)
Following Law's departure, Macari took up the number 10 jersey when he joined the club from Celtic in 1973. He played as a midfielder and although he may not have been flourishing in front of goal like his predecessor Denis Law, he did manage to bag 97 goals for the Red Devils in 404 appearances.
3- Norman Whiteside (1982-89)
He had a lot of different numbers while at Manchester United including the number 10 and was the youngest player to reach 200 appearances for the club. In the seven seasons that he spent, he bagged 68 goals playing as either a midfielder or a striker.
4- Mark Hughes (1980-86/1988-95)
He had two spells in Manchester United playing as either a midfielder or a striker and was the first player to score a Premier league goal for Manchester United in 1992. Hughes spent 13 years at Old Trafford and all together he bagged 163 goals for the club.
5- David Beckham (1992-03)
He briefly took up the number 10 jersey upon the departure of Hughes in 1995 and while with it, he managed to find the back of the net 12 times before switching to his iconic number 7.
6- Teddy Sheringham (1997-01)
He will be remembered for his crucial equalizing goal against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions league final. Sheringham's first team chances remained limited during the 1999-00 campaign, but he still played enough times to merit three Premiership title medals.
7- Ruud Van Nistelrooy (2001-06)
Statistically, he smashed 150 during his five year spell at Old Trafford and was one of the best strikers in the history of the club. During his time, Manchester United won a Premier league title and the FA Cup.
8- Wayne Rooney (2004-17)
Although he began his Manchester United career with the number 8 jersey, Rooney took up the figure 10 following Van Nistelrooy's exit. He is arguably the best player to don the number 10 for the club with 253 goals making him the all time top scorer.
9- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2016-18)
He was one man that never shied away from responsibility and that's why he carried the number 10 jersey after Rooney left. In his two seasons at Old Trafford, he won the Carabao Cup, and the Europa league scoring 29 goals in the process.
10- Marcus Rashford (2015-)
He is the current occupant of the shirt number and one of the brightest talents at Old Trafford. Rashford is yet to make an appearance for the Red Devils this season owing to his shoulder Injury, but after much rehabilitation, the youngster is nearing a return to the pitch. He is the second active top scoring Manchester United player behind Cristiano Ronaldo with 88 goals.
All Images credit: Manutd.com /Skysports.com /Google /Marca.com
Facts credit: Wikipedia
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