10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

The jersey number 12 may not be the most sought-after jersey in the world of soccer, but there have been a number of soccer players who have donned the number with distinction and left an indelible mark.

In fact, despite its relative lack of prominence, there are some soccer players who have worn the number and have managed to etch themselves into our memories forever

One of the fascinating aspects of soccer is the tradition of assigning specific jersey numbers to players, with each number often associated with a particular position on the field.

The number 12, in particular, has been worn by some of the most exceptional players in the history of the beautiful game.

Whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan who lives and breathes the game or someone who just enjoys watching a good game from time to time, this article is for you.

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

Over the years lot of great players have made this number their own and have left a lasting impact on the beautiful game.

From midfield maestros to commanding goalkeepers, the soccer players who have worn number 12 have all brought their unique skill sets to the field.

John Obi Mikel [Chelsea]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

From a young age, it was clear that Obi had a natural talent for soccer, and by the time he turned 18, he was poised to sign a deal with Manchester United.

However, fate had other plans, and the deal was ultimately canceled, much to the disappointment of Manchester United. But for Obi, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Instead, he signed with Chelsea FC, where he proved to be an unstoppable force on the field.

Mikel has an international record of 91 appearances and 6 goals for Nigeria. He began his international career with Nigeria’s under-20 team and was awarded the Silver Ball alongside Lionel Messi and Taye Taiwo at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.

In 2005, he made his senior debut for Nigeria but was not included in any squad until the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.

However, he was later suspended from all Nigerian national teams after he boycotted a match against Uganda, claiming to be injured but failing to attend a medical check-up.

Mikel was subsequently reinstated to the national team after apologizing and was named in several squads, including the 2008 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2016 Olympics squad, the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers squad, and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Obi was a master of both defending and making precise passes. He played in over 370 matches for Chelsea, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever don the blue jersey.

Over the course of his 10-year tenure with the team, spanning 11 seasons, he helped lead the West London club to 3 FA Cups, 2 Premier League titles (in 2009-2010), the Champions League (in 2011-2012), and the Europa League.

Julio Cesar [Inter Milan & Brazil]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

Julio Cesar, the legendary Brazilian goalkeeper, left an unforgettable mark in the world of soccer during his seven-year tenure at Inter Milan.

With numerous titles and records under his belt, Cesar’s incredible skills helped lead his team to victory repeatedly.

Among his many accolades, Cesar won 5 Scudetti, a UEFA Champions League title, and a FIFA Club World Cup during his time with Inter Milan.

He was also named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009 and nominated for both the Ballon d’Or and UEFA Club Goalkeeper in 2010. In 2013, he took home the Golden Glove at the Confederations Cup.

Perhaps even more impressive than his titles and awards were the records Cesar set during his career. He was one of just three Brazilian goalkeepers ever to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or, and he holds the record for the most minutes without conceding a goal as a Brazilian goalkeeper.

He has the most penalty saves in Serie A of any Brazilian goalkeeper and holds the record for the most clean sheets in a single Serie A season while playing for Inter Milan.

Cesar’s incredible athleticism, strength, agility, shot-stopping ability, quick reflexes, positional sense, and game-reading abilities made him one of the most competent goalkeepers in the world during his prime.

It’s no wonder he’s considered the greatest Brazilian goalkeeper of all time.

Alex Sandro [Juventus & Brazil ]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

Alex Sandro is a highly talented Brazilian left-back who currently plays for Juventus in the Serie A league.

Known for his dynamic and offensive style of play, Sandro operates along the left flank, sometimes even taking up the role of an outside forward or offensive winger.

His one-on-one play is unmatched, and his powerful runs make him a formidable opponent on the field, drawing comparisons to fellow Brazilian Roberto Carlos.

Sandro started his career with Atletico Paranaense and was later loaned to Santos before moving to Porto in 2011. In 2015, he made his move to Juventus, where he has since won two league titles and a domestic double.

On the international front, Sandro has been capped 30 times for Brazil and played a crucial role in their victory at the 2019 Copa America.

Before making it to the senior national team, he represented Brazil in the under-20 team, winning the South American Youth Championship, and helped secure the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2011.

Throughout his career, Sandro has been recognized for his exceptional skills and performances.

He was named the O Jogo Team of the Year for 2012 and 2013, and the Serie A Team of the Year for 2016-17 and 2017-18. In 2019, he was also nominated for the FIFA FIFPro World11.


David Fairclough [Liverpool & England]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

He was fondly called the super-sub due to his impressive goal-scoring abilities as a substitute player.

He spent the majority of his career playing for Liverpool, where he was primarily used as a tactical player due to his talent for scoring goals but starts from the bench.

Fairclough, who was born in inner-city Liverpool, rose through the ranks of Liverpool and made his debut in a league-winning match against Middlesbrough on November 1st, 1975.

Despite his goal-scoring prowess, the competitive nature for strikers at Liverpool was stiff due to the “dream duo” of Kevin Keegan and John Toshack. However, Fairclough was given more opportunities during the 1976-77 season due to Toshack’s injuries.

One of Fairclough’s most notable performances for Liverpool was when he scored a hat-trick in a match against Norwich City. He made a total of 153 appearances for Liverpool, 61 of which were from the bench, and scored 55 goals, averaging a goal every 2.8 games.

Towards the end of his career, Fairclough was loaned to the NASL side Toronto Blizzard before moving to the Swiss side FC Lucerne.

He eventually returned to England, playing for Manchester City, Norwich, Oldham Athletic, and Rochdale.

Marcelo [Real Madrid & Brazil]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

If there’s one thing Brazil is known for, it’d be producing the finest left-back players.

Marcelo Vieira da Silva Junior is widely regarded as a world-class left-sided attacking full-back, with soccer legends Paolo Maldini and Diego Maradona being among his admirers.

Even Roberto Carlos, another Brazilian legend, has acknowledged Marcelo’s superior technical abilities.

Early in his career, he won the Campeonato Carioca, which helped him earn a spot on the Brasileirao Team of the Season before he joined Real Madrid.

At Real Madrid, Marcelo established himself as one of the top players. His offensive skills, trickery, and technical proficiency have made him a standout player.

With his flair, touch, grace, and ball control, Marcelo is a dangerous attacking full-back who can create scoring opportunities and open up the field for his team with his speed and positioning.

Marcelo won 23 trophies at Real Madrid, including 4 UEFA Championships and 5 La Liga titles.

In 2016, he was named in the La Liga Team of the Season and the UEFA Team of the Year three times. And, he has been named in the FIFPro World XI 6 times.

Marcelo has also represented Brazil in various international competitions, including the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2013 Confederations Cup.

He was named among the Seleção Dream Team of the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

Rafinha Alcantara [PSG & Spain]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

Rafinha Alcantara is a Spanish-Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for the French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazilian national team.

He began his professional career with Barcelona in 2011. Rafinha came through Barcelona’s famed youth academy, La Masia, where he honed his skills and developed into a technically-gifted player.

He made his first-team debut in November 2011 and went on to make over 80 appearances for the club, winning numerous domestic and European titles.

During his time at Barcelona, Rafinha won four La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey titles, and the UEFA Champions League in 2015.

He also won the FIFA Club World Cup twice, in 2015 and 2016, and the UEFA Super Cup in 2015. After leaving Barcelona in 2020, Rafinha joined Celta Vigo on a free transfer, where he made 30 appearances and scored 4 goals in his first season.

Rafinha has also represented the Brazilian national team, making his debut in 2015. He has since made over 10 appearances for his country, and was part of the squad that won the Copa America.

The center midfielder played for Barcelona while wearing the number 12 shirt for nine years. He made a total of 56 appearances for the Club before moving to PSG to play with Neymar Jr, his ex-teammate.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst [Barcelona & Holland]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

Popularly known as Gio, the Dutch left-back and midfielder wore the number 12 jersey while playing for Barcelona. He appeared in over 150 games while wearing the number 12 jersey.

Apart from Barcelona, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst played for football clubs like Feyenoord, Arsenal, Rangers, and RKC Waalwijik.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has won several honors throughout his football career. He won the KNVB Cup twice with Feyenoord in 1994-95 and 2007-08.

He also won the Scottish Premier League twice with Rangers in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, the Scottish Cup twice in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, and the Scottish League Cup in 1998-99.

Van Bronckhorst also won the Premier League with Arsenal in 2001-02, as well as the FA Cup twice in 2001-02 and 2002-03.

He then went on to join Barcelona, where he won La Liga twice in 2004-05 and 2005-06, the Supercopa de España twice in 2005 and 2006, and the UEFA Champions League in 2005-06.

On an international level, van Bronckhorst was part of the Netherlands team that finished as FIFA World Cup runners-up in 2010.

Marco Van Basten [AC Milan & Holland ]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

Marco Van Basten is mostly regarded as the best if not one of the best soccer players with the number 12 shirts to have graced soccer. Holding that title, he played for two clubs, Ajax and AC Milan.

In both clubs, he performed extremely well and showed his skills on the ball and the playing field. He debuted for Ajaz from 1982-1987 and for AC Milan from 1987-1995. 

The Dutchman knew his way in and around the ball and never missed a chance to show just how much he played elegantly and score superb goals. It is mostly said that “Stop Van Basten” and you had a chance of winning the game. 

Van Basten is a retired Dutch football player who has won numerous honors throughout his career. He started his career with Ajax and won the Eredivisie thrice, along with the KNVB Cup thrice and the European Cup Winners’ Cup once.

He later moved to AC Milan and won the Serie A three times, the Supercoppa Italiana twice, the European Cup twice, the European Super Cup once, and the Intercontinental Cup twice.

Van Basten also won the UEFA European Championship with the Netherlands in 1988.

He received several individual awards, including the Ballon d’Or three times, the FIFA World Player of the Year once, the UEFA Best Player of the Year three times, the European Golden Boot once, the Dutch Footballer of the Year once, and the IFFHS World’s Best Player twice.

He was also named in several “greatest players of all time” lists and was included in the FIFA 100 list of the greatest living footballers picked by Pelé.

He has been inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame, the World Hall of Fame of Soccer, and the AC Milan Hall of Fame.

He holds the title of the sixth FIFA Player of the Century Poll in 1998. 


Olivier Giroud [Arsenal & France]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

The French and AC Milan striker, Olivier Giroud is one of football’s greatest to have worn jersey number 12. He previously played for other football clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea FC.

Olivier Giroud is a highly accomplished French professional footballer who has achieved a lot in his illustrious career.

Olivier Giroud is a highly accomplished French footballer who has won numerous trophies with various clubs and the national team. He won the Ligue 1 title with Montpellier in the 2011-12 season and was the joint-top scorer of the season.

He won three FA Cups and three Community Shields with Arsenal and the FA Cup and UEFA Europa League with Chelsea.

Giroud won the Serie A title with AC Milan in the 2021-22 season. He has also won the FIFA World Cup, finished as the runner-up in the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup, and won individual awards such as the FIFA Puskás Award in 2017.

Thierry Henry [Arsenal & France ]

10 Best Soccer Players With Jersey Number 12

Only a few soccer fans may have paid attention to this former Barcelona, Arsenal, and France striker but he is one of the best soccer players to wear the number 12 jersey. 

He was a highly skilled and deadly striker, known for his exceptional speed and clinical finishing ability.

He began his career at Monaco after graduating from the prestigious Clairefontaine academy in France, but a disappointing stint at Juventus led to his transfer to Arsenal.

Henry’s potential was recognized by new manager Arsene Wenger, who believed he could become one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

Initially played as a winger at Juventus, Henry quickly became a key player for Arsenal and surpassed all expectations, becoming widely regarded as the greatest player in the club’s history.

He chose the number 12 jersey in honor of his idol, Marco van Basten, despite their contrasting styles of play. Both players were elegant and effective, dominating their respective leagues.

He has won numerous titles and awards throughout his career, including the Premier League, La Liga, UEFA Champions League, and FIFA World Cup. In addition to his team honors, he has won individual awards such as the Ballon d’Or runner-up and FIFA World Player of the Year – Silver Award.

He has also been named to multiple Team of the Year and Team of the Century lists.

In recognition of his remarkable achievements, Henry was honored by Monaco, his birthplace, with an award in his name for outstanding contributions to sport in 2018.

Wrapping Up

In soccer and sports at large, the number you choose to wear on your back depicts who you are and what you can do on the playing field.

This list has shown you the best soccer players with number 12 who have shown their identity and passion for the game. 


Which football player has the number 12?

The football player that has number 12 is Marcelo Vieira da Silva, a Brazilian soccer captain.

Who wears number 12 in soccer?

The second-choice goalkeeper often wears the jersey number 12 shirt in soccer. 

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