While soccer tricks and techniques are known to all, a question that remains unanswered is the significance of the jersey numbers. Even though fans worldwide have searched it on the web multiple times, the role of jersey numbers in soccer never seems to have a definite answer. Soccer Players

In addition to that question, a baffling mystery emerges when the jerseys skip numbers, like jersey no. 19. In a game of 11 players from each team, why is a player wearing no. 19? 

Although the concept is blurry, the soccer jersey no. 19 has been worn by many known faces in the past- for whichever reasons suitable. This article provides you the back story of No. 19 and the players who have sported the uncommon jersey number. To know more, continue browsing the article!

What Do 19 Mean?

While a lot of factors affect the jersey number to be displayed by a certain player, the core idea of the jersey numbers is quite different. Earlier, the players used to be given numbers according to their overall ranks, while keeping the no. 1 vacant for the goalkeeper.

However, as time flew by the idea changed and soccer players decided to pick the numbers that were significant to them, or held a special meaning. In addition to all the existing assumptions, it was estimated that some numbers were ‘lucky’ and were assigned to the higher-ranked players. 

The real reason behind numbers is the roles played by each soccer player. The number 19 is an amalgamation of jerseys 9 + 10, which depicts the merging of the roles that those players have.

While the jersey number 9 is assigned to the highest striker of the team, the number 10 is given to the ‘playmaker’, somebody who carried the team on and off. Hence, the number 19 signifies these two roles added together, to be fulfilled by the person displaying it. With all the reasons being stated, let’s look at some of the known faces in soccer to sport the number 19!

  • Lionel Messi (early days)

Surprised? Well, it’s true! The famous soccer player, Lionel Messi, was once a no.19 person. During his early days in Barcelona, Messi was assigned to jersey no.19. He was a great striker and of course, a phenomenal soccer player.

While Messi was a no.19, his teammate Ronaldinho captured the no. 10 jersey. Moreover, Ronaldinho was a course of inspiration to Messi, according to the interviews. Now we know what motivated the soccer star towards the number 10, don’t we? 

Soon after Ronaldinho left FC Barcelona, Messi shifted to the might jersey number 10- that he still holds to this day.

  • Dwight Yorke

The professional soccer player is Trinidad and Tobago-based, with a list of clubs that he played for under the no. 19. Starting from Birmingham City, Ashton Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United, Sydney FC, to Sunderland- the player has managed to display his performance and skill throughout the soccer games.

Yorke is a forward with an iconic performance history in Premier Leagues, due to his amazing connection with the fellow striker; it almost felt telepathic! In just 96 appearances, Yorke managed to score 48 goals that earned him the Premier League’s Player of the Season title!

To date, Dwight Yorke is arguable the most renowned soccer player with no. 19, with professional skills and outstanding deliveries.

  • Santi Cazorla

The Spanish soccer player is a central midfielder, who has flaunted the jersey number 19 quite a few times during leagues. While playing for Al-Sadd FC, Villarreal FC, and Arsenal FC, the player has sported no.19 and delivered satisfactory performances.

According to news reports, it’s assumed that the number 19 was of the special significance of Cazorla, which made him choose it as the jersey number. However, Cazorla shifted to a jersey no.8 in Villareal FC and was released from Arsenal FC- meaning, his no.19 jersey was transferred to another player. 

  • Leroy Sane

The German soccer player serves as a right-winger in soccer, with some outstanding performances in his basket. Sane has sported the jersey number 19 while playing for Manchester City, FC Shalke, and in international tournaments for Germany.

Within four years of playing for the club, Sane earned a total of eight trophies for Manchester City, in addition to two league titles. The no. 19 player was titled as the third-youngest goal scorer for Champions League as well. One of the player’s most renowned attributes is his speed- with a whopping 22mph- it’s almost like he could fly!

  • Mario Gotze

The attacking midfielder is a German soccer player, who sported the no. 19 in multiple matches. From his games for Bayern Munich to playing for Germany in international tournaments, Gotze wore the no.19 jersey and delivered some satisfactory performances.

He’s known for his professionalism regarding the game, even though he’s in the starting eleven for 58% of the time. With a couple of goals in his basket from both national and international tournaments, Gotze is known to be consistent at his game. 

Currently, Gotze sports jersey no.27 for PSV Eindhoven, under which he has played a couple of matches in 2020-21.

  • Esteban Cambiasso

The player sported jersey no. 19 in matches he played for Olympiacos Piraeus, FC Internazionale, and Real Madrid. Aside from national tournaments, Cambiasso participated in international leagues with the jersey number 19 for Argentina as well. the 40-year-old Argentinian player is a defensive midfielder, with quite some phenomenal performances in his career.

The soccer player has a total of 90 goals throughout his career, after playing in multiple leagues throughout. His last match played was for Olympiacos, for the Super League Greece in 2016-17, where he managed to score a total of 3 goals. However, in the September of 2017, Cambiasso announced his retirement from the soccer career.

  • Chad Barrett

The famous soccer player is a center-forward and 35 years old. The American soccer player displayed jersey no. 19 in matches for Seattle Sounders FC, San Jose Earthquakes, Valerenga Football, Toronto FC, and Chicago Fire FC.

Apart from all the national leagues, the player participated in international tournaments as well, under different numbers. In addition to playing as a center-forward, Barrett plays as a second striker and right winger as well.

Throughout his soccer career, the player managed to score 76 goals and assist in 36. Barrett announced his retirement in September 2018 and remains retired to date.

  • Dane Richards

The right midfielder was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and is 37 years old. Throughout his career, Richards sported the no.19 jersey in multiple tournaments. Mainly, the matches were played for Miami FC and the New York Red Bulls.

Aside from national leagues, Richards has played international tournaments for Jamaica as well, under different numbers. In addition to his main position, the soccer player serves as a right-back and a right-winger as well. Throughout his soccer career, Richards has scored a total of 38 goals and is retired as of now.

  • Juninho Paulista

The Brazilian attacking midfielder is 48 years old and based in Sao Paulo. The soccer player sported the jersey no. 19 while playing for Brazil in international tournaments.

Aside from being an attacking midfielder, the player serves as both right and left midfielders as well. Moreover, the player has scored a total of 60 goals throughout his career and assisted in 13.

Even though his international participation might have been negligible, the player served in many national leagues after his debut in 1955. For his national team of Brazil, Juninho Paulista made a total of 40 appearances throughout his soccer career.

  •  Bobby Rhine

According to reports, Bobby Rhine wore jersey number 19 for the longest time. Impressive, right? The FC Dallas legend played as a midfielder and defender throughout his soccer career.

In addition to the renowned performances he had delivered, Rhine was talked about the most during MLS seasons, where he had scored a total of 23 goals and assisted in 33. The final soccer game of the player’s life was against Los Angeles Galaxy in 2008. 

Unfortunately, Rhine died of a heart attack in the year 2011, while he was on a vacation in Florida with his family. The player was aged 35 at that time.


Well, that was enlightening- wasn’t it? Jersey numbers like 7 or 10 have been talked about a lot, due to the soccer players wearing them being famous worldwide. However, unique numbers such as 19 are never really researched much about. This stirs the mystery around such numbers.

Now that you know the significance behind the no.19 and the players who wore them, it’s time for you to pick your jersey number accordingly. Make sure to thoroughly research the soccer player who inspired and shaped you towards that number.

Share this article with your soccer buddies to let them unravel the mystery behind the number 19!

Read: Ladder Drills With Soccer. 

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