The Number 10 Jersey is currently the new number 9.
It was only a few years ago when people were raving about players who wore the number 9 on their shirt. For example, Alan Shearer, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, Fernando Torres, Ian Rush and Ronaldo (the non-metrosexual one: Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima).
At the moment, we have a new generation of famous number tens: Kaka, Robinho, Messi, Fabregas, Rooney and Sergio 'Kun' Aguero all ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As a preview, I have decided to go through some famous number 10s who have achieved legendary status for club and country.
What you will need to realise during this slides how is that I'm trying to eliminate a popular misconception regarding so-called "great players."
Many football fans tend to measure greatness through goals alone and so they do not appreciate other aspects of playing football, such as passing and tackling.
It is an inconvenient truth that defenders are rarely assigned the number 10 shirt in their squad because it usually goes from goalkeeper to striker using numbers 1-11, hence having defenders wear single-figure numbers on their shirt.
Having said that, a lot of defenders nowadays wear numbers higher than 10, sometimes exceeding the number 20. More surprisingly, former French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez wore number 16 on his shirt for the French National Team. Still, I could only really find strikers and wingers who wore the number 10 on their shirts. Just make a note in your heads for the future that a great player should be noted for what his position is rather than how many goals he scores.
Warning: This slide show may contain a disproportionate number of Brazilians, Spaniards and Argentinians.
To anybody editing this, I hope you like coffee.