Jersey numbers are significant to a lot of football players, and to some, it is more than just a number signifying their position on the field of play. 

Some players will opt to stick with a particular number for the majority of their careers for a reason, while some will wear a number just because their preferred number is not available upon their arrival at a new club. 

The number 22 jersey has been worn by a number of great players in the game, while some top players still don the shirt at the moment.

Here is a look at some players, retired and playing, that have once worn or are still wearing the number 22, and the exploits they have done while doing so.

Alexi Lalas 

  • Club: Calcio Padova
  • Year joined: 1994
  • Year jersey was worn: 1995/96
  • Appearances: 44
  • Goals/Assists: Two/Zero 
  • Trophies: None 

The former American defender was the first player from his country to play in the Italian Serie A, appearing for Calcio Padova after the 1994 World Cup.

Lalas wore the jersey during his second season at the club before returning to the United States in 1996 to take part in the newly formed Major League Soccer.

The American scored 19 times and assisted another nine in 237 games for the various clubs he played for, winning five trophies.

He played 96 games for the USMNT, scoring 10 goals.

Alvaro Morata

  • Club: Atletico Madrid
  • Year joined: 2018
  • Year jersey was worn: One 
  • Appearances: 68
  • Goals/Assists: 25/Six
  • Trophies: None 

The 29-year-old (1992) Spain international striker is among the popular players that once wore the number 22 jersey, picking the squad number during his first season at Atletico while on loan from Chelsea.

Morata scored six goals in 17 games in the season he wore the jersey, and has a total of 184 goals and 76 assists in 503 club career games that have yielded 16 major trophies.

He has played 56 games for his country so far, scoring 26 times 

Angel Di Maria

  • Clubs: Juventus (2022 – date)
  • Real Madrid (2010 – 2015)
  • Years jersey was worn: Five
  • Appearances: 194
  • Goals/Assists: 37/86
  • Trophies: Six 

The Argentine winger is one of the popular players that wear the number 22 jersey, doing so all through his five seasons at Santiago Bernabeu.

Di Maria, 34 (1988), also picked up the number when he joined the Old Lady in the 2022 summer transfer window, claiming he chose it because it was the number he wore when he won the Champions League with Madrid and that he wants to win the European elite competition with Juve too.

The one-time FIFA FIFPro World XI member also won one La Liga title, two Copa del Rey cups, one Supercopa de España and one UEFA Super Cup while with the Spanish giants, with a total of 155 goals and 245 assists in 687 club career games so far and 27 trophies.

Di Maria has played 122 times for his country, with 25 goals and one Copa America to his name.

Does he need to switch from number 11 to number  22 to boost his chances of winning the World Cup with Argentina?

Antonio Rudiger

  • Club: Real Madrid 
  • Year joined: 2022
  • Appearances: Eight 
  • Goals/Assists: One/Zero 
  • Trophies: One 

The Germany international centre-back, 29 (1993), moved to the Spanish capital this summer from Chelsea, picking up the number 22 jersey as Dani Carvajal already had his favourite number (2). 

Rudiger was offered the number 12 or 22 jerseys, opting for the latter, and has since won the UEFA Super Cup with Los Blancos.

He has won a total of six trophies in his club career, with five coming while he was at the Stamford Bridge outfit. 

Rudiger has 17 goals and 12 assists in 363 club career appearances so far and has played 53 times for his country, scoring twice and winning the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup with them. 

Arturo Vidal

  • Club: Juventus (2011 – 2012)
  • Barcelona (2018 – 2020)
  • Inter Milan (2020 – 2022)
  • Years jersey was worn: Five 
  • Appearances: 202
  • Goals/Assists: 22/22
  • Trophies: Seven 

The 35-year-old (1987) Chilean midfielder is currently plying his trade with Brazilian top-flight side Flamengo in the jersey number 32, but he made a name for himself as a number 22 and a number 23 in Europe.

Vidal won two Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italiana, one La Liga, one Supercopa de España and one Coppa Italia in the number 22 jersey.

He currently has a total of 113 goals and 83 assists in 673 club appearances, with a haul of 21 trophies.

The two-time Bundesliga Team of the Season and Serie A Team of the Year member has scored 32 goals in 133 games for Chile so far, with two Copa América titles to his name.

Dani Alves

  • Club: Barcelona 
  • Year joined: 2008
  • Years jersey was worn: Two
  • Appearances: 88
  • Goals/Assists: Four/15
  • Trophies: Six 

The 39-year-old (1983) Brazilian right-back switched from the number 2 jersey to 22 ahead of the 2013-2014 campaign as a tribute to his former teammate, Eric Abidal, who at that time was battling cancer.

The eight-time FIFA FIFPro World XI member won a La Liga title, one Copa del Rey, one Supercopa de España, one Copa Catalunya, one Supercopa de Catalunya and one UEFA Champions League during his time as Barcelona’s number 22.

The UNAM star is the player with the most collective honours (47) in football history, with 67 goals and 176 assists in 907 club appearances.

Alves has eight goals in 124 international caps, with two Copa América titles under his belt.

Eidur Gudjohnsen

  • Club: Chelsea (2000 – 2006)
  • Fulham FC (2010/11)
  • AEK Athens (2011/12)
  • Cercle Brugge (2012/13)
  • Club Brugge KV (2013 – 2014)
  • Bolton Wanderers (2014/15)
  • Molde FK (2015/16)
  • Years jersey was worn: 13
  • Appearances: 387
  • Goals/Assists: 100/43
  • Trophies: Five

The former Icelandic forward loved the number 22 jersey, wearing it during his last four years in his country colours and all through his time at the aforementioned listed clubs.

Gudjohnsen won two Premier League titles, one Football League Cup and two FA Charity/Community Shield in the number, with a total of 11 trophies under his belt.

He scored 158 goals and assisted another 56 in 656 club appearances, while he scored 26 times in 88 international caps for his country. 

Eric Abidal

  • Club: Barcelona (2007 – 2013)
  • AS Monaco (2013/14)
  • Olympiacos Piraeus (2014/15)
  • Years jersey was worn: Eight 
  • Appearances: 237
  • Goals/Assists: Two/10
  • Trophies: 16

The former French left-back spent his last eight years as a professional at club level wearing the number 22 jersey, winning four La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, three Supercopa de Españas, two UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups and one Super League Greece title.

Abidal won 20 trophies as a player, scoring four times and assisting 16 others in 445 club games. 

The former Barcelona star made 67 appearances for the French national team, wearing the jersey number in his last three years with them but was unable to win any international silverware. 

Gael Clichy

  • Club: Arsenal (2003 – 2011)
  • Manchester City (2011 – 2017)
  • Years jersey was worn: 14
  • Appearances: 467
  • Goals/Assists: Five/25
  • Trophies: Eight 

The Servette left-back, 37 (1985), spent all his years in the Premier League wearing the number 22 jersey, winning three league titles, one FA Cup, two FA Community Shields and two Football League Cups.

Clichy has since added a Süper Lig title with Istanbul Basaksehir to the nine trophies he has won as a professional footballer.

The 2007-08 PFA Team of the Year member also played in the jersey for four years while with the French national team, totalling 20 caps. 

Hakim Ziyech

  • Club: SC Heerenveen (2013/14)
  • Ajax Amsterdam (2016/17, 2018/19, 2019/20)
  • Chelsea (2020 – date)
  • Appearances: 249
  • Goals/Assists: 65/102
  • Trophies: Six 

The Morocco international attacker, 29 (1993), has donned the jersey number 22 at three different clubs, winning one Eredivisie, one KNVB Cup, one Johan Cruyff Shield, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

All in all, Ziyech has 110 goals and 132 assists in 374 games across the four clubs he has represented so far.

The three-time Eredivisie Best Player and four-time Eredivisie Team of the Year member has 17 goals in 40 international games for his country. 

Isco 

  • Club: Málaga CF (2011 – 2013)
  • Real Madrid (2015 – 2022)
  • Sevilla FC (2022 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: 10
  • Appearances: 334
  • Goals/Assists: 53/50
  • Trophies: 15

The 30-year-old (1992) attacker has won three La Liga titles, three Supercopa de Españas, four UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups in the number 22 jersey, all at Santiago Bernabeu.

The 2012 Golden Boy Award winner has a total of 19 trophies, 72 goals and 67 assists in 450 club appearances so far.

Isco has 12 goals in 38 games for Spain, with his last cap coming in 2019.

Jude Bellingham

  • Club: Birmingham City (2019/20)
  • Borussia Dortmund (2020 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Four to date
  • Appearances: 144
  • Goals/Assists: 17/20
  • Trophies: One 

The 19-year-old (2003) has played in the number 22 jersey since he made his professional debut, winning the DFB-Pokal with the Bundesliga giants.

Bellingham’s impressive performances and move to Dortmund within such a short while at Birmingham led the club to retire his number 22 jersey.

The England international prodigy has earned 15 caps for the Three Lions and will be hoping to help them win the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Bellingham started wearing the number 22 jersey after Birmingham told him while he was seven years old that he did not need to limit himself to one role – insisting he could be a No.4, No.8 and No.10 and play each position well, with the addition of those digits giving 22.

Kaka 

  • Club: AC Milan
  • Year joined: 2003
  • Years jersey was worn: Seven 
  • Appearances: 307
  • Goals/Assists: 104/84
  • Trophies: Five 

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite played in the number 22 jersey all his days at AC Milan, winning one Serie A title, one Supercoppa Italiana, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup at San Siro.

The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner won nine club honours as a player, scoring 208 goals in  654 games.

Kaka played 92 games for Brazil, scoring 29 goals and helping them win the 2002 FIFA World Cup and 2005 and 2009 FIFA Confederations Cups.

Kwadwo Asamoah

  • Club: Juventus (2012 – 2018)
  • Years jersey was worn: Six 
  • Appearances: 156
  • Goals/Assists: Five/20
  • Trophies: 13

The former Ghanaian international is currently a free agent after leaving Cagliari in June 2021, but the former Juve number 22 has not announced his retirement.

Asamoah, the most-capped African player in Italian Serie A history, won the Italian top-flight title in each of the seasons he spent at Turin, and also picked up four Coppa Italia Cups and three Supercoppa Italiana Cups – the only trophies he has won in his club career.

He was included in the 2013-14 Serie A Team of the Year and is well-known for his versatility, often playing at left-back, left-wing and central midfield.

The former Udinese and Inter Milan player appeared in 74 games for Ghana, scoring four times and coming narrowly close to winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010.

Paul Scholes

  • Club: Manchester United (1995/96, 2011/12, 2012/13)
  • Years jersey was worn: Three
  • Appearances: 
  • Goals/Assists: 
  • Trophies: Three 

The legendary and enigmatic Man Utd legend wore the number 22 jersey for three seasons during his playing days at Old Trafford, winning two Premier League titles and one FA Cup in it.

Scholes ended his career with 155 goals and 75 assists in 718 club games, winning 25 major silverware – all for the Red Devils.

The former midfielder played 66 times for England, scoring 14 times and has been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame and English Football Hall of Fame.

Simon Mignolet

  • Club: Sint-Truidense VV (2006 – 2010)
  • Sunderland AFC (2010 – 2013)
  • Liverpool (2013 – 2020)
  • Club Brugge KV (2021 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: 16
  • Appearances: 469
  • Goals/Assists: One/Zero 
  • Trophies: Four 

The Belgian goalkeeper, 34 (1988), has played in the number 22 jersey all his career, except for two seasons. 

Mignolet has played 560 games to date, winning a total of six honours, with the Belgian Second Division title, one UEFA Champions League, one Belgian First Division A and one Belgian Super Cup coming in the jersey number.

The 2012-13 Sunderland Player of the Year has 35 international caps to date.

Mignolet turned down the opportunity to take on Liverpool’s No.1 jersey in 2015, insisting on retaining the number 22 jersey as it had always been a part of him.

Serge Gnabry

  • Club: Bayern Munich (2018 – 2020)
  • Years jersey was worn: Two
  • Appearances: 88
  • Goals/Assists: 46/23
  • Trophies: Eight 

The Bavarians forward, 27 (1995) wore the number 22 jersey in his first two seasons at Allianz Arena as Franck Ribery had his favourite number (7), winning two league titles, two DFB-Pokal Cups, one DFL-Supercup, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup in it.

Gnabry has won 14 trophies, with 88 goals and 54 assists in 256 games. 

He has appeared in 34 games for Germany, scoring 20 times.

Willian

  • Club: Shakhtar Donetsk (2007 – 2009)
  • Chelsea (2013 – 2019)
  • Years jersey was worn: Eight 
  • Appearances: 372
  • Goals/Assists: 61/71
  • Trophies: Nine

The 34-year-old (1984) Fulham winger played as a number 22 in his first two seasons in the Ukrainian Premier League and his first six seasons in the English Premier League, winning three titles, one Ukrainian Cup, one Ukrainian Super Cup, one UEFA Cup, one FA Cup, one League Cup and one UEFA Europa League.

The Brazilian won 15 trophies in his club career, with 105 goals and 146 assists in 664 games to date.

Willian scored nine goals in 70 games for his country, winning the 2019 Copa América.

Xabi Alonso

  • Club: Real Madrid (2009/10)
  • Year jersey was worn: One 
  • Appearances: 41
  • Goals/Assists: Three/Five
  • Trophies: None 

The former Spanish midfielder wore the number 22 jersey in his first season at Santiago Bernabeu.

Alonso played 701 career club games, scoring 44 goals, assisting 69 times and winning 14 trophies.

The two-time FIFA FIFPro World XI member featured in 114 games for Spain, scoring 16 goals and winning the 2010 World Cup and 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships.

Honourable Mentions 

  • Alvaro Benito
  • Bodo Illgner
  • Francisco Pavon