Superstition is a very popular theme in football, with it being one of the several reasons some players wear some particular numbers on their jerseys. 

The number 23 is not very popular on jerseys, with a few top players donning it. 

Like most numbers outside 1 and 11, it is often associated with academy or young players who have been included in the squad for a new season. 

Nevertheless, some stars have worn the number 23 jersey and some still wear it, and here is a look at how they have fared while doing so.

Andrey Arshavin

  • Club: Arsenal (2009 – 2013)
  • Zenit St. Petersburg (2013/14)
  • Years jersey was worn: Six 
  • Appearances: 190
  • Goals/Assists: 38/59
  • Trophies: None 

The former Russian winger wore the number 23 jersey all through his time with the North Londoners and in his first two seasons after returning to his boyhood club.

While the number brought no luck in terms of silverware, Arshavin won 10 trophies in other numbers, notching a total of 141 goals and 186 assists in 637 games.

He scored 17 goals in 75 games for Russia.

Carlo Cudicini

  • Club: Chelsea (1999 – 2009)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (2009 – 2013)
  • Years jersey was worn: 15
  • Appearances: 253
  • Goals/Assists: 0
  • Trophies: Eight 

The former Italian goalkeeper played in the number 23 jersey all through his stay in the English Premier League, winning two titles, two FA Cups, two Football League Cups and two FA Community Shields, all with the Blues.

Those were the only silverware Cudicini won during his professional career, appearing in a total of 373 games.

He won no cap for the Italian national team.

Christian Eriksen

  • Club: Tottenham Hotspur (2013 – 2020)
  • Years jersey was worn: Seven 
  • Appearances: 305
  • Goals/Assists: 69/90
  • Trophies: None 

The 30-year-old (1992) Manchester United midfielder wore the number 23 jersey all through his time with Spurs.

Eriksen won nothing with the North Londoners but has a total of six trophies to date.

He has 110 goals and 165 assists in 546 games thus far in his club career.

The Denmark international has 38 goals in 115 games so far.

Conor Gallagher

  • Club: Crystal Palace (2021/22)
  • Chelsea (2022 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Two
  • Appearances: 45
  • Goals/Assists: Eight/Five 
  • Trophies: None 

The England international midfielder, 22 (2000), has worn the number 23 jersey since 2021, with a total of 16 goals and 18 assists in 129 games so far in his club career.

Gallagher has won the UEFA Europa League with the Blues, and has four international caps with the Three Lions.

Daniel Sturridge 

  • Club: Chelsea (2009 – 2013)
  • Years jersey was worn: Four 
  • Appearances: 96
  • Goals/Assists: 24/Nine 
  • Trophies: Four 

The English striker, 33 (1989), wore the number 23 jersey during the four years he spent at Stamford Bridge, winning two FA Cups, one Premier League title and one Champions League.

Sturridge currently has a total of five trophies, 112 goals and 45 assists in 327 games, and the 2013-14 PFA Team of the Year member scored eight goals in 26 games for the Three Lions. 

He is currently a free agent after leaving A-League club Perth Glory in June.

David Beckham

  • Club: Real Madrid (2003 – 2007)
  • LA Galaxy (2007 – 2013)
  • Years jersey was worn: 10
  • Appearances: 283
  • Goals/Assists: 40/93
  • Trophies: 12

The iconic Englishman was unable to continue wearing the number 7 jersey at Madrid despite already building the ‘DB7’ brand around it at the time, with club legend Raul already with it.

Beckham opted for the number 23, inspired by basketball legend Michael Jordan and convinced by his wife, and he won one La Liga title and one Supercopa de España.

The Man Utd hero retained it on his move to MLS, winning eight MLS cups and two Supporters’ Shields.

The four-time PFA Team of the Year member ended his career with 129 goals and 213 assists in 719 games, winning a total of 25 trophies.

Beckham played 117 games for England, scoring 15 goals.

Emre Can 

  • Club: Liverpool (2014 – 2018)
  • Juventus (2018 – 2020)
  • Borussia Dortmund (2021 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Nine 
  • Appearances: 301
  • Goals/Assists: 27/20
  • Trophies: Four 

The German international midfielder, 28 (1994) wears the number 23 jersey for both club and country, and has won two Serie A titles, one Supercoppa Italiana and one DFB-Pokal while doing so. 

Can has a total of eight trophies, 35 goals and 27 assists in 377 games so far under his belt.

He has one goal in 37 games for the national team, winning the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The German specifically asked for the number when he swapped Bayer Leverkusen for Liverpool due to its significance in the club, and has retained it since at his other clubs.

Jamie Carragher

  • Club: Liverpool (1995 – 2013)
  • Years jersey was worn: 18
  • Appearances: 737
  • Goals/Assists: Four/19
  • Trophies: 11

The 39-cap former England international defender spent all his club career at Anfield in the number 23 jersey, winning two FA Cups, three League Cups, two FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup and two UEFA Super Cups.

Carragher is one of the most popular players to have worn the jersey.

Luis Diaz

  • Club: Junior FC (2016 – 2018)
  • Liverpool (2021 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Four 
  • Appearances: 117
  • Goals/Assists: 27/14
  • Trophies: Seven 

The Colombian international forward, 25 (1997), revealed that he opted to pick up the number 23 jersey after joining the Reds having worn it while coming through the ranks at Junior Barranquilla.

Diaz has since won two Categoría Primera A titles, one Copa Colombia, one Superliga Colombiana, one FA Cup, one League Cup and one FA Community Shield playing as a No. 23, with a total of 12 trophies, 74 goals and 33 assists in 310 club career games so far.

The 2021 Copa América Golden Boot winner has bagged eight goals in 35 appearances for his country.

Luke Shaw

  • Club: Southampton (2012 – 2014)
  • Manchester United (2015 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: 10
  • Appearances: 262
  • Goals/Assists: Three/24
  • Trophies: Two 

The Manchester United left-back, 27 (1995), wore the number 23 jersey in his last two seasons at Southampton before picking it up after his first season at Old Trafford.

Shaw has won one UEFA Europa League and one FA Community Shield as a No. 23, featuring in a total of 283 games.

The two-time PFA Premier League Team of the Year member has two goals in 21 appearances for the Three Lions so far.

Marco Materazzi

  • Club: AC Perugia (1999 – 2001)
  • Inter Milan (2001 – 2011)
  • Chennaiyin FC (2013/14)
  • Years jersey was worn: 
  • Appearances: 13
  • Goals/Assists: 42/Four 
  • Trophies: 15

The former Italian centre-back wore the number 23 jersey for most of his career for club and country, winning all his trophies while at San Siro.

Materazzi boasts five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia Cups, four Supercoppa Italianas, one UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup.

The Italian scored 58 goals and assisted another four in 491 club career games, scoring twice in 41 international games and winning the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

He started wearing the number 23 jersey due to his huge admiration for Michael Jordan.

Marc-Vivien Foe

  • Club: Manchester City (2002/03)
  • Appearances: 38
  • Goals/Assists: Nine/0
  • Trophies: None 

Manchester City have since retired the late Cameroonian’s number 23 jersey following his demise in 2003. 

Foe played a total of 254 games, scoring 30 times and assisting four times for his clubs.

He won five trophies for his other clubs in other numbers.

The two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner scored eight goals in 62 games for the Indomitable Lions. 

Robbie Fowler 

  • Club: Liverpool (1993 – 1996)
  • Years jersey was worn: Three 
  • Appearances: 144
  • Goals/Assists: 85/20
  • Trophies: One 

The former Reds forward spent his first three seasons at Anfield in the number 23 jersey, winning one League Cup.

Fowler played a total of 590 games in club football,  scoring 254 goals and assisting 58 times, winning five trophies. 

Liverpool’s current top scorer in Premier League history scored seven goals in 26 games for England. 

Seamus Coleman

  • Club: Everton (2010 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: 13
  • Appearances: 378 
  • Goals/Assists: 27/33
  • Trophies: None 

The 33-year-old (1988) right-back, has established himself as a Toffees legend, picking up the number 23 jersey in his second season at Goodison Park.

The Republic of Ireland international has 29 goals and 40 assists in 459 club career games so far, with a goal in 65 caps to his name.

Sol Campbell

  • Club: Tottenham Hotspur (1993 – 2001)
  • Arsenal (2001 – 2006)
  • Portsmouth FC (2006 – 2009)
  • Years jersey was worn: 15
  • Appearances: 623
  • Goals/Assists: 25/16
  • Trophies: Eight 

The former English centre-back wore the number 23 jersey in his first three clubs, winning one League Cup with Spurs, two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and one FA Community Shield with the Gunners and one FA Cup with Portsmouth.

Campbell made the PFA Team of the Year thrice, appearing in a total of 646 games, scoring 29 times and assisting 16 times.

He played 73 games for the Three Lions, scoring once.

Honourable Mentions 

  • Albert Sambi Lokonga
  • Alberto Méndez
  • Aldo Duscher
  • Cenk Tosun
  • Christian Ziege
  • Danny Welbeck
  • David Luiz
  • Nelson Vivas
  • Nicklas Bendtner
  • Paul Dickov
  • Ray Parlour 
  • Stephen Hughes