Top 10 Famous Number 3 Football Players You May Not Know

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Number 3 football players: Number 3 is usually reserved for players who feature in the left fullback position. Footballers in this role are usually tasked not just with defending but also going forward to provide support in attack through crosses or daring runs in the final third.

Many gifted players currently wear this jersey number today. We will be looking at some of them. Here are the top football players who wear the number 3 jersey.

Éder Militão

The 24-year-old is a defender on the books of Spanish giants Real Madrid. The Brazilian has been with Los Blancos since 2019 and has been wearing the number 3 since his arrival.

Despite a shaky start in his first two seasons, when he only made 15 and 14 league appearances, respectively, Eder has grown in stature.


The Brazil international has been a reliable presence in defense for the Bernabeu side, helping them clinch an unlikely double last campaign winning the La Liga and UEFA Champions League for the 2021-2022 season.

Militao’s relatively young age means he still has more time to improve and perhaps become one of the best defenders of his generation.

Paolo Maldini

Paolo Cesare Maldini is a former Italian soccer player who played his entire career for AC Milan. His legendary performance in AC Milan saw the team retire the number 3 shirt after his retirement. Maldini was a left-back and center-back and was one of the greatest defenders and players.

Here are some of his incredible feats:

  • Best defender at the UEFA Club Football Awards at age 39
  • Serie A Defender of the Year Award in 2004
  • 2002 FIFA World Cup Dream Team
  • FIFA 100 list of the greatest living players in 2004 by Pele
  • Ballon d’Or Dream Team 2020

In his playing career, he won 25 trophies with Milan, including:

  • Five UEFA Champions League titles
  • Seven Serie A titles
  • One Coppa Italia
  • Five Suppercoppa Italiana
  • Four UEFA Super Cups
  • Two Intercontinental Cups
  • One FIFA Club World Cup

Internationally, he captained the Italian national team for eight years playing in four FIFA World Cups and three UEFA European Championships.

Gleison Bremer

Another Brazilian football player who wears the number 3 jersey is Juventus defender Gleison Bremer.

After impressing with Torino, Bremer joined Juventus on a five-year deal in the 2022/23 summer transfer window.

The 25-year-old is one of the best defenders in the Italian Serie A.


Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, popularly known as Pepe, is a Brazilian-born professional soccer player who opted to play for Portugal. He is also one of the top famous number 3 football players in the world.

He played for the Portugal national team at three FIFA World Cups and four European Championships. He also played in the team that won the Euro 2016 and the team that got to the semifinals in 2012.

He is a revered defender and has played for Maritimo, Porto, Real Madrid, and Besiktas. He accumulated most of his career wins when playing at Porto and Real Madrid.

While playing at Real Madrid, he won three La Liga titles, three UEFA Championships League titles, and two Copa del Rey trophies. While at Porto, he won three Primeira Liga titles and two Taca de Portugal trophies.


Fabinho is a defender/defensive midfielder for the English side Liverpool. The 28-year-old has been wearing the number 3 jersey for the Reds since he joined in 2018.

The Brazilian is highly regarded as one of the English Premier League’s best defensive midfielders.

The midfield stalwart has continued to be a solid cover for his teammates, especially in defense, and was at the heart of the Merseysiders’ recent successes in the EPL and UEFA Champions League.

Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole is a former English soccer player regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation. He is the soccer player who has won the most FA Cups in history, having bagged seven, three at Arsenal and four at Chelsea.

Ashley is also one of only two players in the world to have won the Double with two clubs. The other player is Nicolas Anelka. In addition, he is the most capped England full-back with 107 cappings.

He appeared for his country at three World Cups, including 2002, 2006, and 2010. He also appeared in the Euro 2004 and Euro 2012. He retired from international soccer in 2014, having debuted in 2001.

Beginning his career at Arsenal, Ashley made 228 appearances for the team. However, he won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups. He was part of the 2003-2004 team that went undefeated.

He then moved to Chelsea and continued the winning streak with four FA Cups, one Football League Cup, and one UEFA Champions League title.

Ruben Dias

The Manchester City defender has been a solid addition to the Cityzen’s backline since his transfer from Benfica in 2020.

The 25-year-old who wears the number 3 for City is very comfortable on the ball and strong in the air. Dias has used this advantage on many occasions to score for his side.

Ruben has helped the blue side of Manchester clinch back-to-back EPL titles and will be hoping to do more in the coming years.

Gerard Piqué

The Barcelona defensive linchpin has been wearing number 3 for the Catalans since his return to the club in 2008. Piqué has continued to be a solid presence at the back for Barca over the years.

Pique is one of only five players to win the UEFA Champions League two years in a row with two different teams. Under the leadership of Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, Pique also won two trebles in the 2008/09 and 2014/15 seasons.

The 35-year-old has won everything that has to be won at the Nou Camp, including La Liga titles, Copa Del Reys, and UEFA Champions League trophies.

Gerard will be hoping to finish on a high with the Spanish giants as his career winds down.

Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha is a Brazilian soccer player who has been the most offensive-minded left-back in the history of soccer despite him starting his career as a forward. He was also a master at free-kicks, with his shots measuring over 105 miles per hour.

Roberto mostly played for Real Madrid, where he played 584 matches and scored 71 goals in total. He also won the La Liga title four times and the UEFA Champions League three times.

Furthermore, he is the second most-capped Brazilian player with 125 caps. He played three World Cups with Brazil, reaching the final in 1998 and winning in 2002.

Patrice Evra

Patrice Latyr Evra is a French coach and former professional soccer. The former Manchester United coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, described him as one of the best left-backs in Europe and praised him for his leadership skills.

Evra started his career at Marsala, an Italian club then moved to Monza shortly after. He then moved back to France and played for Nice. Later, in 2002, he moved to Monaco, where his performance led to his transfer to the English Premier League club, Manchester United.


At Manchester United, he became captain and won five Premier League titles and one UEFA Championship League title.

Evra also played for his home country in 2008, 2012, and 2016 UEFA European Championships and at two World Cups, in 2010 and 2014.

Final Thought

Throughout the evolution of soccer, the way different positions are played has changed. However, although the style of play might have evolved, the field position for soccer players with the number 3 has not changed much.

The number 3 football players are reserved for defenders. Some players have rubber-stamped their names while playing with this jersey, with Ashley Cole and Paolo Maldini as iconic examples. Hope that with this article, you had more information about players who famously represented their clubs with the number 3 soccer jersey. Remember to visit us – FootballTerms frequently.

Thanks for reading!

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