Let’s talk about some worst football players to ever wear the iconic number 10 jersey. Football is a sport with a very rich history. This history spreads across competitions, trophies, goals, players, and even controversies. It will be good to remember that football jerseys used to be without number until 1911 when squad numbers were first recorded. Nothing was special about these numbers other than for identification.
However, things would later change as some jersey numbers seem to find their way to the body of great players. Such is the number 10 jersey. Icons and legends such as Maradona, Ronaldinho, Zidane, Pele, and Okocha have all won the jersey with grace but there are some players who flopped badly.
These players were not terrible players as we shall soon see. The matter was just that they never lived to the usual hype around the jersey when they wore it. So who are the worst football players to ever don the iconic number 10 jersey?
1. William Gallas
Gallas was signed from London rivals Chelsea in a deal that saw Ashley Cole move to the opposite side. The Frenchman was not a bad defender at all but seeing the iconic number 10 jersey at the heart of the defense was a terrible sight. Gallas as a defender was nowhere near the creativity shown by Bergkamp and Merson who wore the jersey in playing in attack.
2. Lassana Diarra
Before the recent evolution of football, the defensive midfield position was one that required being a destroyer. Lassana Diarra cannot but be on our list of worst football players to shame the number 10 jersey. He was assigned the jersey when he moved to Real Madrid in 2009. This decision appears to be more awkward considering the fact that Kaka, Ronaldo and other attackers were also in that squad.
3. Oliver Neuville
Oliver Neuville had a quite silent career but this guy was a prolific goalscorer in his rights. He was considered good enough for the German squad and he played for Die Mannschaft at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. He wore the number 10 at both tournaments aged 33 and 35 respectively. We put him on the list of the worst football players to ever wear the jersey because of his status as a 2. Bundesliga player then. Furthermore, wearing the number 10 at that age was awkward.
4. John Carew
Carew was one of the top Norwegian talents in Europe in his playing days. He joined Aston Villa from Lyon in 2007 with a tally of 9 goals in 3 league games. It was strangely sufficient for Aston Villa to sign him and giving him the number 10 jersey. Carew did score 37 goals in four seasons but he could not escape being one of the worst footballers to don the jersey for the lack of creativity attached to it.
5. Sidney Govou
Raymond Domenech took France to Euro 2008 but he made a whole lot of awkward decisions in the tournament. David Trezeguet and Sebastien Frey somehow did not make his final squad. On getting to the tournament, he made outrageous team selection which saw his team eliminated in the group stage. He did not help Govou’s course either as he gave him the number 10 jersey in a tournament they faired badly at. The gaffer is the reason Govou is one of the worst football players to wear the number 10.
6. Jose Antonio Reyes
The name Reyes is popular in football but the former Arsenal man never lived up to the potential he showed at the beginning of his career. He made Spain’s squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and was handed the iconic jersey. The fact that Reyes was a winger made this decision a let off and to complicate matters, he barely made an appearance at the tournament. We can but put him on our list of worst football players. Reyes sadly passed away last year in an accident.
7. Andriy Voronin
It is difficult to imagine that Liverpool had the Ukrainian on their books between 2007 and 2010. He arrived from Bayer Leverkusen having scored 32 goals in 94 league games but only managed 27 league appearances with the Reds in three years. He scored just five goals within that period and could only be second fiddle to Torres. The disappointment was that he was wearing the number 10 jersey the whole time.
8. Hugo Viana
Football can be a very harsh world. Hugo Viana was a talent been sought after as a teenager and he decided to join an unsettled Newcastle United FROM Sporting CP in 2002. He would spend the bulk of his four years there on loan as his career only went South since leaving Portugal. He etched a name for himself as one of the worst football players to wear the number 10 jersey with his performances for Portugal. At the 2006 World Cup, he made just two substitute appearances and missed a penalty against England in the quarterfinals. Portugal went on to win the match though.