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7 Best Number 18 Players of All Time

Scholes Number 18

When you think of the most iconic numbers that legends of soccer have worn, your mind may drift towards the numbers 7, 9, or 10, but perhaps not players who wear the number 18.

This unassuming number has been worn by some of the finest talents to have ever graced the game, and today, we’ll be counting down our top 7 number 18 soccer players of all time. 

7. Bruno Fernandes

The first player on our list may not have reached legend status yet, but the Portuguese attacking midfielder is already one of the most recognizable players to have had the number 18 on his back. 

Fernandes rocked the 18 jersey number in football during his spells at both Udinese and Sporting Lisbon, where he scored 49 goals in total for the two clubs.

The man, now of Manchester United, also wears 18 for his national team, Portugal. He donned the number during his first three seasons for the Red Devils, scoring 39 goals and notching up 25 assists.

Jersey Number 18 in Football for Bruno Fernandes
Autographed Bruno Fernandes Number 18 Jersey Available on Fanatics.

Here is an autographed Manchester United Jersey Number 18. These will be hard to come by since Fernandez has changed his jersey number.

At the start of the 2022/23 season, it was announced by Manchester United that Fernandes would be taking the number 8 shirt off the shoulders of Juan Mata, so for now, at least, Bruno no longer wears the number 18. 

You can find his new jersey on the Fanatics website, wearing number 8.

Bruno Fernandes Manchester United Addidas 2023/24 Home Authentic Player Jersey - Red

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6. Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba Photo Wearing 18 Soccer Jersey

Now one of the most famous fullbacks ever played the game, the Barcelona legend is well-known for wearing jersey number 18 during his time with the Catalan giants.

As far as players go, Alba is one of the most loyal servants you will find in La Liga, with him being at Barcelona since the 2012/13 season, with 18 on his back since the start. While in Catalonia, Alba has won 15 trophies, including one UEFA Champions League and five La Liga titles. 

Alba also wore the number 18 for his national team of Spain and was a part of the Spanish side that successfully defended the UEFA European Championship title in 2012. Alba also participated in the London Olympic Games 2012, wearing number 18.

5. Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose wearing number 18

One of the most memorable strikers of his generation, the German legend Miroslav Klose wore many different numbers throughout his career. However, he did have the number 18 on his shirt during his most iconic years at German side Bayern Munich. 

Klose scored a total of 24 goals during four years in Bavaria. This may not sound like the kind of numbers that an iconic goal scorer should be reaching, but it was more the manner of Klose’s goals that made him so well remembered.

The German was a ‘fox in the box’ that always had a moment of magic in him, a quality that fans around the world adore. 

Perhaps Klose is more famous for wearing number 11 for his country, where he still holds the record for most goals scored in separate World Cups, with 16 across four tournaments. However, Klose briefly wore number 18 for his country in the 2000/01 season.

4. Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt # 18 Soccer Jersey

Liverpool and Netherlands legend Dirk Kuyt is another cult hero that makes it onto this list of soccer players with number 18. The Dutch dynamo was one of the finest goal poachers in the world during his best years, making him a danger whenever the ball was near the opposition’s goal. 

Kuyt wore the number 18 during his iconic spell at Liverpool, where he would be part of the League Cup-winning squad in 2011/12. During his time in Merseyside, Kuyt bagged himself 71 goals in 6 seasons, making 208 appearances for the English club. 

Success may have been hard to come by for Liverpool at this time. However, their number 18 was one of the most reliable members of the team for some time. 

While on duty with the Dutch national team, Kuyt wore a collection of numbers, including number 18, during the 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons.

3. Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann wearing Jersey Number 18

Moving into the top three of our list is another legendary German and a man that is perhaps the country’s most famous goal scorer in its history, the great Jurgen Klinsmann. 

Like many strikers, Klinsmann did not wear the number 18 for his glittering career but did so during his most iconic season. 

When the German signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 1994, the English media latched onto his reputation as a diver.

This prompted Klinsmann to perform one of the most iconic celebrations in history following a goal against Sheffield Wednesday on his debut, diving to the floor like the media suggested he did during matches. 

Klinsmann would score 21 goals for the North London club before departing for Bayern Munich, where he would also take on the number 18 shirt in the 1995/96 and 1996/97 seasons.

For his national team, Klinsmann also wore number 18 intermittently during his 11-year international career. The striker scored 47 goals in 108 appearances for West Germany and later the unified Germany.

2. Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio Number 18

A player that needs no introduction, the ‘Divine Ponytail’ Roberto Baggio may be more recognizable as an iconic number 10. However, he briefly took on the number 18 mantle during his time at AC Milan. 

When Baggio signed for the ‘Rossoneri’ in 1995, the number 10 shirt he had previously worn at Juventus was occupied by Dejan Savicevic of Yugoslavia. This meant that Baggio had to make do with wearing 18 for his first season in red and black. 

In 34 appearances during the 1995/96 season, Baggio managed to bag himself ten goals on the way to winning the Scudetto with Milan, outscoring Savicevic and proving himself worthy of the number 10 shirt for the following season despite his prime years now being behind him. 

In a strange turn of events, Baggio only briefly wore the number 10 shirt and the number 9 for a short period.

Eventually, the Italian found himself back in the number 18 shirt by the end of the season after registering just nine goals. He would later move to Bologna for the 1997/98 season, where he went straight into the number 10 shirt.

1. Paul Scholes 

Paul Scholes Best Soccer Player Wearing Jersey Number 18 in Football

Unlike some players on this list, we finish with a man who wore the number 18 jersey for most of his professional career.

Paul Scholes is one of the greatest midfielders to have ever stepped foot on a soccer field, and as such, it was no contest putting him at the top of our list. 

Scholes wore number 18 during his peak years at Manchester United from 1996 to 2011, when he first retired from the game (he briefly returned in 2012 wearing number 22).

During this incredible period for himself and his club, Scholes was part of a team that won 26 trophies under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. 

Perhaps Scholes’ most famous moment in the number 18 shirt came in the 2007/08 season when Manchester United took on the might of Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final at Old Trafford.

After a mistake by the Barcelona defense, the ball fell kindly to the oncoming Scholes, who thundered the ball into the top corner. The goal was enough to send his team to the Final in Moscow. They later won on penalties against Chelsea. 

Do you agree with our list? Or do you remember another famous number, 18, that we forgot to mention?