As mainstream soccer jersey numbers go, there is no number less seen on the field than the number 13.
There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, first relates to the fact that it is traditionally reserved for a team’s second-choice goalkeeper who is usually a player that isn’t seen very much (except for cup competitions for the most part).
The second is that the number 13 is a highly superstitious one, with many players refusing to wear the jersey for this reason. Many clubs around the world do not have a number 13 player.
Thankfully there are still plenty of clubs that use the number, and today, we will be taking you through 7 players that do wear the number 13 jersey for their team.
Given that most of the players featuring in this list are not the first names on the team sheet, you may not be familiar with many of them (and that’s great)!
Here are 7 famous soccer players who wear the number 13 jersey.
1. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – Bayern Munich
First up is probably the most well-known player on this list, purely on the basis that he has had one of the wildest career journeys of any soccer player in history.
The Cameroon international is what most fans refer to as a ‘journeyman’ due to the fact that he has played for so many different teams over the course of his career. He also hasn’t scored that many goals for a striker either.
Choupo-Moting started his career in the German Bundesliga with Hamburg, where he failed to make a meaningful impact for the first time, thus being loaned out to Nurnberg and later sold to Mainz.
It was with Mainz that he had possibly the best years of his career, registering 20 goals over the course of 74 appearances that eventually earned him a major move to Schalke.
This is where the story gets bizarre; in 2017 Choupo-Moting moved to Stoke City in the Premier League before a shock transfer to Paris Saint-Germain just a year later after a poor season with the Potters.
After two seasons in Paris, the forward somehow got a move to Bayern Munich, where he remains to this day in the number 13 jersey.
We all need an agent as good as the guy this man has!
2. Alex Runarsson – Arsenal
As we touched upon earlier, the number 13 jersey is usually reserved for one of the backup goalkeepers at a club (usually the second choice, though not always), and Icelandic keeper Alex Runarsson held this role for a short time at the Emirates and remained the number 13 at the club despite being out on loan at the moment.
Runarsson began his career began his professional career in his home country before getting his big break with Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in 2014 and remained there for four successful seasons, qualifying for multiple European competitions in the process as well as being the club’s player of the season in 2018.
These performances earned him a move to the European mainland with French side Dijon before an eventual transfer to Arsenal in 2020.
The Icelander made a strong start to life in London, making multiple appearances in the UEFA Europa League before his Premier League debut in 2021.
Unfortunately, things didn’t stay this good for Runarsson after a string of poor performances saw him fall out of favor at the Emirates, with a loan move to OH Leuven coming shortly after.
Runarsson is currently on loan to the Turkish side of Alanyaspor.
3. Andriy Lunin – Real Madrid
Playing for the greatest club to ever compete in the sport is one of the greatest honors a soccer player can be bestowed with. Whether this is as one of the first-choice players or simply a member of the wider squad. For ‘Los Blancos’ resident number 13, the role of a backup goalkeeper is one he seems to be relishing.
Andriy Lunin is a Ukrainian international that has been a member of his nation’s squad since 2018. Given his relatively young age when he first broke into the team, much is still expected from the young goalkeeper.
After starting his career with the troubled Dnipro team who were forcibly demoted to the Ukrainian third division the season Lunin departed due to issues with their finances.
Lunin remained in his home country though, playing for Zorya Luhansk the next season, impressing in Europe after playing in every Europa League fixture Zorya played in the 2017-18 campaign. He was now attracting attention from all corners of Europe, later signing for Real Madrid.
Lunin has spent most of his time in Spain out on loan but is now a member of the first team and has played in both the Champions League and La Liga for the club.
4. Marcus Bettinelli – Chelsea
Next up is yet another backup goalkeeper that has had a bit of a random career path – Marcus Bettinelli.
Growing up in the London borough of Camberwell, the young Bettinelli was a member of the Fulham youth setup for a number of years before eventually signing as a professional with the club in 2010. The Englishman remained with Fulham for over a decade and made just over 100 appearances for the west London club.
After being a relative mainstay at the club for some time, Bettinelli picked up a few injuries that led to him falling out of favor with a series of managers. In 2012 he was sent out to non-league side Dartford before enjoying two successful seasons with Accrington Stanley in the lower echelons of the football league.
Eventually, Bettinelli broke back into the Fulham team before a transfer to Middlesbrough in 2020. After a good season in the northeast, he returned to west London after a big move to Premier League side Chelsea.
Bettinelli is nowhere near the starting line-up for the blues though and is yet to make an appearance for them.
5. Zanka (Mathias Jorgensen) – Brentford
His real name is Mathias Jorgensen; Zanka is the nickname that he has been referred to throughout his professional career. The Danish international plays as a central defender for both club and country and currently plays his soccer for Premier League side Brentford.
As a youngster, Zanka played with his hometown club FC Copenhagen and soon managed to break into the first team at the age of just 16.
After staying in the Danish capital for some time, the defender made the switch to PSV Eindhoven, where his fortunes were not as good, with him subsequently returning to Copenhagen just two seasons later.
Following another good spell at home, Zanka made his first move to the Premier League with newly promoted Huddersfield Town. The Yorkshire club was not expected to survive relegation long and despite a strong first season in the topflight were back in the Championship a year later.
Zanka then moved around on loan for a few years, enjoying spells with Fenerbahçe and yet another stint with Copenhagen before his eventual transfer to Brentford in 2021 where he now dons the number 13 jersey.
6. Matt Targett – Newcastle United
The only full-back on our list today, Englishman Matt Targett has enjoyed a solid, if not spectacular professional career to date. Targett currently plays for high-flying Newcastle United in the Premier League after having been brought into the club as a first-choice player last season.
Unfortunately for Targett, the recent takeover of the club by Saudi Arabia has led to a huge influx of players that have forced him onto the side-lines for Eddie Howe’s team.
Targett began his career with the Southampton youth setup, subsequently signing for the Saints as a professional in 2013, the same season he made it into the first-team squad for the club.
Targett enjoyed a relatively good time with Southampton for his age, including a strong season while on loan at Fulham in 2018.
The defender later moved to Aston Villa and became one of the key players for the Villains in the 2020-21 season. Targett started all of the club’s Premier League fixtures in the Pandemic hit season, being voted player of the season in the process.
This form earned him his move to Newcastle United, initially on loan and later permanently in 2022.
7. Aaron Mooy – Celtic
A player that you may have seen at the recent World Cup, Aaron Mooy is a tenacious midfielder that will always be on the hunt for the ball.
As part of the Australia team in Qatar, Mooy helped lead the Socceroos to the knockout stages of the competition where they were eventually eliminated by a Lionel Messi inspired Argentina.
As a player, Mooy has been around the block a few times, playing for a plethora of clubs over the course of his career. He now finds himself in the middle of the park for Scottish champions Celtic and has thus far made 13 appearances for the Glasgow-based club and wears the number 13 jersey for them.
Prior to his move to Celtic Park, the Australian played for teams across his home country such as Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers, as well as other teams, such as Huddersfield Town, Shanghai Port, and even Manchester City (though he never made an appearance for the citizens).
If you’ve ever wondered whether the number 13 is used in soccer, it is, and these guys are just some of the players that choose to have it on their backs for their clubs. Would you wear number 13?