Top 10 Best Number 10 In Football
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The role has evolved over the years in line with modern tactics, and many systems do not have room for a true No.10. A standard 4-4-2 formation, as used by clubs like Atletico Madrid, favors two strikers, while a 4-3-3 setup like Liverpool’s utilizes a midfield holder and two box-to-box runners.
However, other configurations- such as those employed by Manchester City, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich – are built around a central attacking playmaker.
With all those elements in mind, here’s a breakdown of the 10 leading No.10s in world football right now.
Top best football players with number 10
10) Martin Odegaard
The Norwegian joined Real Sociedad on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid last summer and he’s thrived in his first full season in a major European league.
Odegaard famously debuted at the senior international level aged just 15 and the following year he made his debut for Madrid, having joined them from Stromsgodset in his native Norway.
He had spent the last three seasons on multiple loan stints in the Netherlands across spells at Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem, before moving to the Basque club at the start of the campaign.
Odegaard is now 21 and remains one of football’s brightest prospects, with his youth overlooked because he made his breakthrough in senior football at such a young age.
His progress had gone somewhat under the radar in the Eredivisie, but he’s starred in La Liga with four goals and provided six assists in 28 starts.
9) Mikel Oyarzabal
As with many others on this list, Oyarzabal is one of players wearing number 10 in football. He is not a conventional playmaker in terms of his positioning. As outlined by WhoScored, he has played in seven different positions this campaign.
However, in terms of his skillset and output, he is very much in the mold of a typical No.10 and is in double figures in both goals and assists for Real Sociedad this season.
Along with Odegaard, he has played a crucial role in taking La Real to this season’s Copa del Rey final and challenging for the European places.
Oyarzabal, 23, is now a full Spain international and has been linked with a move to Manchester City.
8) Angel Di Maria
Di Maria spent the majority of the first half of his career as a winger, before being converted into a central attacker during his time at Real Madrid.
The Argentine’s style of play is based on his agility, dribbling ability, and superb all-around technique. He’s particularly adept at exploiting one-on-one opportunities against opposition defenders and providing multiple assists for teammates.
He struggled to adapt to life at Manchester United partly due to his slender frame being ill-suited to the more physical, intense football of the Premier League, but also because he was stifled by Louis van Gaal’s rigid system.
This season at Paris Saint-Germain, Di Maria has racked up 12 goals and 18 assists across 30 starts. He’s most often deployed in the central playmaker role which allows him to create opportunities for teammates and dribble at the opposition before shifting the ball wide.
Di Maria registered seven assists in seven games before the French football season was curtailed in March. He will be central to PSG’s hopes of lifting this season’s Champions League trophy.
7) Thomas Muller
Muller has starred for Bayern Munich and Germany for over a decade but he has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance in the form in the past year.
Bayern’s fluid attacking system features three creative players deployed behind star striker Robert Lewandowksi, and the setup allows Muller to thrive either through the middle or cutting in from the right.
Now aged 30, the German has scored 12 goals and provided 22 assists across all competitions this season and remains pivotal to Bayern’s build-up play.
Muller is often overlooked due to a style of play that often seems clunky and unconventional, but his performance level and output remain at the elite level.
6) Paulo Dybala
The Argentine is another forward wearing number 10 in football. Stylistically he has a typical skillset.
Dybala is a quick, creative, elegant, and agile player. He has excellent technical ability, offers a huge goal threat, and is heavily involved in the link-up play.
He usually starts in a forward position but often drops into a deeper role to pick up the ball in pockets of space and create opportunities for others.
Dybala’s versatility and work rate are also key features of his play. Despite coming close to an exit from Juventus last summer, he has excelled this season by netting 17 goals and providing seven assists.
5) Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez
Another Argentine on the list, Gomez’s career has been played out away from the limelight but he has been at the heart of Atalanta’s remarkable story in recent years.
Atalanta is a relative minnow in the Italian top flight but currently sits second in the standings and is three games away from winning the Champions League – having never previously competed in the competition.
By any measure, the side’s attacking numbers are remarkable, and playmaker Gomez has been central to their success with seven goals and 18 assists this season – he’s set to top the Serie A assists table for the second successive campaign.
Gomez’s dribbling, technical quality, and work rate are typical of the very best Argentine playmakers.
4) Kai Havertz
The Bayer Leverkusen ace is attracting attention from major clubs in Europe after a terrific campaign in the Bundesliga.
The German star is versatile and can play in multiple attacking positions, but the Bayer system allows him to thrive in his most comfortable role behind the central striker.
Across the past two campaigns, Havertz has racked up 37 goals for Bayer. He won three Player of the Month awards in the Bundesliga and being linked with both Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Havertz is a technically-gifted, two-footed midfielder who has multiple strings to his bow and his rise to prominence suggests he could even climb to the very top of this list in the coming years.
3) Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes is one of football players wearing number 10 in football. Few players have had such a transformative impact on a team as that Fernandes at Manchester United. After his arrival in January, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer transformed from a passive side lacking creativity into a team that is suddenly scoring goals for fun.
Fernandes has not always played in an advanced midfield role but such is his goal threat and ability to pick a killer pass in the final third, he is now the most advanced of United’s midfield trio.
The Portuguese star has netted an incredible 72 goals from midfield since the start of the 2017/18 campaign. He’s registered an impressive seven goals and seven assists in his first 11 EPL appearances.
Fernandes is a direct, energetic playmaker who likes to take on defenders and also provides a set-piece threat. He’s never afraid to shoot from distance and regularly plays ambitious passes to cut open opposition defenses.
The former Sporting CP man has already struck up an impressive understanding with Paul Pogba in United’s midfield. He established himself as one of the Premier League’s newest stars.
2) Kevin de Bruyne
Manchester City playmaker De Bruyne is the best player in the Premier League. He could even become the number one in world football.
The Belgian is outrageously talented and, in attacking terms, he does not have a single chink in his armor. De Bruyne has sometimes played a slightly deeper role this campaign but that has not diminished his attacking output, with 13 goals and 20 assists to date.
De Bruyne is supremely talented technically and also has excellent tactical awareness. When combined with his athleticism, flexibility, and work rate, that makes him a complete footballer – and the second-best No.10 in the world.
1) Lionel Messi
There is nothing new to say about the Barcelona superstar, who continues to dazzle on a weekly basis. The Argentine attacker is not only the world’s best player but very possibly the most gifted footballer of all time.
In an attacking sense, Messi has everything – supremely gifted, an elite finisher, capable of picking passes that no other player can, and the best free-kick taker on the planet.
Messi does not specifically play in the conventional playmaker role. But he inevitably drifts into that zone to find pockets of space.
The 33-year-old is indisputably number one on this list. But as his career winds down he may have to get ready to hand over the crown in the coming seasons.
That’s all about our top list of football players wearing number 10 in football. If you find this news interesting and want to read more, then follow us at Football Terms