Players that wear the number 4 Jersey

In football, the number 4 jersey is mainly associated with centre-backs and defensive midfielders, with the English often handing the jersey to the latter. 

The Germans, Spanish, Brazilians, Dutch and Portuguese mostly hand the No. 4 shirt to a central defender, but there are cases where players in other positions choose to wear it, and there is never one particular reason for their decision. 

Given the superstitions that come with jersey numbers in football, some players wear a particular number because it brings them luck, or because it reminds them about a special date in their or their loved ones’ lives.

A lot of players have worn the number 4 jersey, and here is a look at some of them and how they (have) performed in it for either club or country.

Çağlar Söyüncü

  • Club: Altinordu FK (2015/16)
  • SC Freiburg (2016 – 2018)
  • Leicester City (2018 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Eight 
  • Appearances: 209
  • Goals/Assists: Six/Three 
  • Trophies: Two 

Caglar Soyuncu, 26 (1996) has played in the number 4 jersey since his second season as a professional, with one FA Cup and one FA Community Shield to his name so far.

The Turkey international centre-back has played a total of 219 games, with six goals and three assists under his belt.

Soyuncu won the Turkish Footballer of the Year in 2019 and made the PFA Team of the Year in 2019-20, with two goals in 49 international appearances for the Crescent-Stars thus far.

Cesc Fabregas

  • Club: Arsenal (2006 – 2011)
  • Barcelona (2011 – 2014)
  • Chelsea (2014 – 2019)
  • AS Monaco (2019 – 2022)
  • Como (2022 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: 17
  • Appearances: 610
  • Goals/Assists: 115/206
  • Trophies: 11

Despite being a central midfielder, the 35-year-old (1987) Spaniard has donned the number 4 shirt for the majority of his career, doing so because he idolised Barcelona’s then-captain and No. 4 Pep Guardiola, who would later give him the shirt when he moved to Camp Nou.

Fabregas was also born on 4 May, and the number is very dear to him as he has also played in numbers 14 and 44 when 4 was not available.

Cesc is recognised as one of the best midfielders of all time and he has won one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey, two Supercopa de Españas, one UEFA Super Cup – all with Barca – one FIFA Club World Cup, two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and one UEFA Europa League – all with Chelsea – in it, winning two other trophies in another number while at Arsenal and making the PFA Team of the Year twice.

Fabregas has played 724 club games so far, scoring 125 goals and assisting 218 times.

He played 110 games for Spain before retiring in 2016, scoring 15 times, winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships.

Claude Makélélé

  • Club: Chelsea (2003 – 2008)
  • Paris Saint-Germain (2008 – 2011)
  • Years jersey was worn: 
  • Appearances: 335
  • Goals/Assists: Three/10
  • Trophies: Seven 

The former French midfielder made the number 4 a popular shirt during his Premier League days, and many defensive midfielders that came after him dreamt of wearing the jersey.

He was widely regarded as one of the greatest players in his position and has been rightly credited with redefining the defensive midfield role in English football after helping Chelsea win the title with 95 points in 2004-05. 

As a result, the defensive midfield position is sometimes dubbed the “Makelele Role”, and he won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, one FA Community Shield and one Coupe de France while wearing the No. 4 shirt.

The Kinshasa-born legend won eight other trophies across Nantes and Real Madrid in the number 7 and number 24 jerseys, respectively.

Makelele ended his career with 25 goals and 28 assists in 802 club games, making the 2005 FIFPro World XI and emerging as Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year in 2006.

He ended his international career with 71 caps for Les Bleus, unfortunately missing out on the trophy-winning squads.

Fernando Hierro

  • Club: Real Madrid (1990/91, 92/93, 1994 – 2003)
  • Years jersey was worn: 11
  • Appearances: 459
  • Goals/Assists: 82/15
  • Trophies: 16

The former Spanish star played as a centre-back and defensive midfielder, winning four La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four Supercopa de Españas, three UEFA Champions Leagues, one Intercontinental Cups, one UEFA Super Cup and one Copa Iberoamericana while rocking Los Blancos’ number 4 shirt.

Hierro won a total of 18 trophies, scoring 134 goals and assisting 17 others in 716 games.

He was named in the FIFA XI thrice, scoring 29 goals in 89 games for La Roja and making the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 2002.

Ivan Rakitic 

  • Club: Barcelona (2014 – 2020)
  • Years jersey was worn: Six
  • Appearances: 310
  • Goals/Assists: 36/42
  • Trophies: 13

The Croatian international midfielder, 34 (1998), spent all his Camp Nou days in Barca’s iconic number 4 jersey, winning four La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, one Supercopa de España, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

Rakitic has won two other trophies in his club career, with a total of 118 goals and 125 assists in 768 games so far.

The two-time La Liga Team of the Season member and 2015 Croatian Footballer of the Year has played 106 games for his country, scoring 15 goals and reaching the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Javier Zanetti

  • Club: Inter Milan (1995 – 2014)
  • Years jersey was worn: 19
  • Appearances: 858
  • Goals/Assists: 21/33
  • Trophies: 16

The former Argentine defensive midfielder spent all his playing days in Europe at San Siro in the number 4 shirt, winning five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias, four Supercoppa Italianas, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. 

On hanging his boots at club level, Inter retired Zanetti’s number 4 jersey as a recognition of his career at the Italian club.

Widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation, the Inter Milan Hall of Famer and Italian Football Hall of Famer played 145 games for La Albiceleste, scoring five times and winning the Pan American Games in 1995.

Juan Sebastián Verón

  • Club: Manchester United (2001 – 2003)
  • Chelsea (2003/04)
  • Years jersey was worn: Three 
  • Appearances: 96
  • Goals/Assists: 12/15
  • Trophies: One

The legendary Argentine midfielder spent three years in the Premier League in the number 4 jersey, winning the 2002-03 Premier League title with the Red Devils.

Veron ended his career with 15 trophies, scoring 78 times and assisting 93 times in 657 games. 

A two-time Footballer of the Year of Argentina and South American Footballer of the Year, he played 72 games for his country, scoring nine times.

Jurgen Kohler 

  • Club: Koln (1987 – 1989)
  • Bayern Munich (1989 – 1991)
  • Years jersey was worn: Four 
  • Appearances: 140
  • Goals/Assists: Nine/Two
  • Trophies: Two 

The former German centre-back spent four seasons in the number 4 shirt, winning one Bundesliga and one DFL-Supercup. 

Kohler won nine other trophies, ending his career with 48 goals and 17 assists in 638 games.

He was named in the kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season six times, making the UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament in 1992 and emerging as Footballer of the Year in Germany in 1997.

Kohler played 105 games for Die Mannschaft, scoring twice and winning one FIFA World Cup and one UEFA European Championship.

Joseph Yobo

  • Club: Everton (2005 – 2010)
  • Years jersey was worn: Five 
  • Appearances: 169
  • Goals/Assists: Eight/Two
  • Trophies: None 

The former Nigerian centre-back spent his last five seasons at Goodison Park rocking the number 4 jersey, putting in some incredible performances.

Yobo ended his club career with three trophies – all with Fenerbahce – and 15 goals and two assists in 437 appearances.

He featured in 101 games for the Super Eagles, scoring seven times, making the 2008 CAF Team of the Year and winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. 

Kolo Toure

  • Club: Liverpool (2013 – 2016)
  • Years jersey was worn: Three 
  • Appearances: 71
  • Goals/Assists: One/Three 
  • Trophies: None

The retired Ivorian centre-back sported the number 4 shirt during his brief Liverpool spell and for the majority of his international career, losing the finals of the League Cup and Europa League in 2015-16.

Toure won a total of nine trophies during his club career, scoring 19 goals and weighing in with 18 assists in 520 games.

He played 120 games for Ivory Coast, scoring seven times and winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015 and making the Team of the Tournament. 

Luka Milivojevic

  • Club: Crystal Palace (2017 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Six 
  • Appearances: 168
  • Goals/Assists: 27/Seven
  • Trophies: None

The 31-year-old (1991) Serbian midfielder has played in the number 4 jersey since his second season at Selhurst Park.

Milivojevic has a total of 55 goals and 28 assists in 406 club games thus far, with six trophies to his name.

The two-time Serbian SuperLiga Team of the Season member has a goal in 38 international appearances for the Eagles.

Niklas Süle

  • Club: Bayern Munich (2017 – 2022)
  • Years jersey was worn: Five
  • Appearances: 171
  • Goals/Assists: Seven/Five
  • Trophies: 14

The 27-year-old (1995) man-mountain rocked the number 4 shirt all through his time at the Allianz Arena, winning five Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokal Cups, four DFL-Supercups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. 

Sule has 15 goals and 12 assists in 301 club games thus far, making the Bundesliga Team of the Season in 2016-17.

The German centre-back has played 42 times for his country to date, scoring once and winning the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Patrick Vieira 

  • Club: AC Milan (1995/96)
  • Arsenal (1996 – 2005)
  • Juventus (2005/06)
  • Years jersey was worn: 11
  • Appearances: 447 
  • Goals/Assists: 37/52
  • Trophies: 11

The Frenchman is without any iota of doubt one of the best players to have worn the number 4 shirt, making a name for himself while doing so with the North London giants.

Vieira won one Serie A title, three Premier League titles (including an unbeaten season), four FA Cups and three FA Community Shields in the jersey, winning eight others in the number 14 and 24 shirts.

The six-time PFA Team of the Year member and one-time Premier League Player of the Season ended his career with 58 goals and 71 assists in 651 appearances.

Vieira scored six goals in 107 games for France, playing key roles as they won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2000 UEFA European Championship and 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. 

Pep Guardiola 

  • Club: Barcelona (1993/94, 1995- 2001)
  • Years jersey was worn: Seven 
  • Appearances: 218
  • Goals/Assists: Six/36
  • Trophies: Eight 

While one of the best managers the game has ever seen did not particularly grab the headlines during his playing days, the Catalan established himself as one of the best number 4s in the history of Blaugrana, winning three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, two Supercopa de Españas, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and one UEFA Super Cup in it.

Guardiola also won seven other trophies at Barca in six other jersey numbers, ending his club career with 28 goals and 48 assists in 524 appearances.

Pep scored five goals in 47 games for Spain, making the UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament in 2000.

Per Mertesacker

  • Club: Arsenal (2011 – 2018)
  • Years jersey was worn: Seven
  • Appearances: 221
  • Goals/Assists: 10/Four 
  • Trophies: Five 

The former German centre-back spent his playing years at The Emirates with the number 4 on the back of his jersey, winning three FA Cups and two FA Community Shields.

Mertesacker ended his career with 34 goals and 16 assists in 518 games.

The one-time kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season member played 104 games for Die Mannschaft, scoring four times and helping them bag the 2014 World Cup.

Phil Jones 

  • Club: Manchester United (2011 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: 12
  • Appearances: 229
  • Goals/Assists: Six/11
  • Trophies: Five 

The 30-year-old (1992) English centre-back has been Man Utd’s number 4 since 2011, winning one Premier League title, one FA Cup, two FA Community Shields and one UEFA Europa League. 

Jones has played 269 club games so far, with six goals and 11 assists to his name.

He has played 27 times for England, and several long-term injuries and subsequent losses of form have prevented him from fulfilling the huge potential he showed back in 2013, when Sir Alex Ferguson tipped him to become the Red Devils’ best ever player going forward.

Rafael Márquez 

  • Club: AS Monaco (1999 – 2003)
  • Barcelona (2003 – 2010)
  • New York Red Bulls (2010 – 2012)
  • Club León FC (2013 – 2014)
  • Hellas Verona (2014 – 2015)
  • Atlas Guadalajara (2016 – 2018)
  • Years jersey was worn: 20
  • Appearances: 547
  • Goals/Assists: 21/22
  • Trophies: 16

The best defender in Mexico’s history played in the number 4 jersey for the majority of his career and all through his time with the national team, winning one Ligue 1 title, one Coupe de la Ligue, four La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopa de Españas, two UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and two Liga MX titles.

Marquez ended his playing career with 27 goals and 26 assists in 628 games, playing 147 games for El Tri and bagging 17 goals.

He won one FIFA Confederations Cup, two  CONCACAF Gold Cups and one CONCACAF Cup with his country, appearing at five World Cups.

Rigobert Song

  • Club: FC Metz (1997 – 1998)
  • Liverpool (1998 – 2001)
  • Galatasaray (2004 – 2008)
  • Trabzonspor (2008 – 2010)
  • Years jersey was worn: 11
  • Appearances: 368
  • Goals/Assists: 12/10
  • Trophies: Six 

The former Cameroonian centre-back rocked the number 4 shirt for most of his club and country careers, winning one Coupe de la Ligue, one UEFA Cup, two Süper Lig titles and two Turkish Cups.

Song ended his career with 18 goals and five assists in 501 appearances, with five goals coming in 137 international appearances.

He won two African Cups of Nations with the Indomitable Lions. 

Ronald Araujo

  • Club: Barcelona (2020 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Three 
  • Appearances: 82
  • Goals/Assists: Six/One 
  • Trophies: One 

The 23-year-old (1999) Uruguayan defender has taken up the number 4 top at Camp Nou since 2020, winning one Copa del Rey and making the La Liga Team of the Season in 2021-22.

Araujo, who plays at both centre-back and right-back, has played 181 games at club level so far, scoring 19 goals and assisting another seven.

He has played 12 games for La Celeste.

Ronald Koeman 

  • Club: Ajax Amsterdam (1985/86)
  • PSV Eindhoven (1986 – 1989)
  • Barcelona (1989 – 1995)
  • Feyenoord Rotterdam (1996/97)
  • Years jersey was worn: 11
  • Appearances: 471
  • Goals/Assists: 169/51
  • Trophies: 16

The Dutchman played mostly in the number 4 jersey during his career for club and country, winning three Eredivisie titles, three KNVB Cups, two European Cups, four La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopa de Españas and one European Super Cup, establishing himself as a Barca legend, with one Eredivisie title coming in another jersey number.

Koeman ended his playing career with 238 goals and 73 assists in 685 games, scoring another 14 in 78 games for the Flying Dutchmen. 

The two-time Dutch Footballer of the Year won the 1988 UEFA European Championship with his country, making the Team of the Tournament.

Sami Hyypia

  • Club: Myllykosken Pallo (1995/96)
  • Willem II Tilburg (1995 – 1999)
  • Liverpool (2000 – 2009)
  • Bayer 04 Leverkusen (2009 – 2011)
  • Years jersey was worn: 15
  • Appearances: 559
  • Goals/Assists: 38/19
  • Trophies: Six 

The former Finnish defender played in the number 4 shirt for clubs and country, winning one Finnish Cup, one FA Cup, one League Cup, one Community Shield, one UEFA Champions League and one UEFA Super Cup in it, with his six other trophies coming in another shirt.

Hyypia was named Liverpool Player of the Season in 2001-02, making it to the PFA Team of the Year twice and the kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season once.

The 10-time Finnish Footballer of the Year ended his career with 49 goals and 23 assists in 752 games.

The centre-back scored five goals in 105 international games for the Eagle-Owls, winning one Nordic Football Championship.

Sergio Ramos 

  • Club: Real Madrid (2005 – 2021)
  • Paris Saint-Germain (2021 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: 18
  • Appearances: 695
  • Goals/Assists: 104/48
  • Trophies: 24

The 36-year-old (1986) Spanish centre-back has played in the number 4 jersey since 2005, winning one Ligue 1 title, one Trophée des Champions, five La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, four Supercopa de Españas, four UEFA Champions League, three UEFA Super Cups and four FIFA Club World Cups.

Ramos has scored 109 goals and made 48 assists in 771 games so far, ending his international career with 23 goals in 180 games, winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships.

He has cemented his place as one of the best defenders of all time having made the FIFA FIFPro World XI 11 times and emerged as La Liga Best Defender five times.

Steve Bruce 

  • Club: Norwich City (1984 – 1987)
  • Manchester United (1987 – 1996)
  • Years jersey was worn: 12
  • Appearances: 597
  • Goals/Assists: 73/20
  • Trophies: 14

The former English centre-back sported the number 4 shirt during his playing days with the Canaries and Red Devils, winning two League Cups, one Football League Second Division title, three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, three FA Charity Shields, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and one European Super Cup.

Toby Alderweireld

  • Club: Tottenham (2015 – 2021)
  • Al-Duhail SC (2021/22)
  • Years jersey was worn: Seven 
  • Appearances: 265
  • Goals/Assists: 10/7
  • Trophies: One 

The Belgian defender, 33 (1989), wore the number 4 top while at Spurs and in the UAE, winning just the Emir of Qatar Cup.

Alderweireld has won six other trophies, with a total of 30 goals and 21 assists in 515 club games so far.

He has five goals in 123 international games for the Red Devils.

The Belgian emerged as the Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year in 2015-16, making the PFA Team of the Year and  Europa League Squad of the Season in the same season.

Vincent Kompany

  • Club: Manchester City (2010 – 2019)
  • RSC Anderlecht (2019/20)
  • Years jersey was worn: 
  • Appearances: 378
  • Goals/Assists: 21/12
  • Trophies: 12

The former Belgian centre-back will likely go down in history as the Sky Blues’ best number 4 of all time after helping them to four English top-flight titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and two FA Community Shields.

Kompany won two other trophies with Anderlecht, ending his career with 31 goals and 21 assists in 532 club games.

The three-time PFA Team of the Year member and Premier League Hall of Famer ended his international career with eight goals in 49 appearances.

Virgil Van Dijk

  • Club: FC Groningen (2012/13)
  • Liverpool (2018 – date)
  • Years jersey was worn: Seven 
  • Appearances: 227
  • Goals/Assists: 19/14
  • Trophies: Seven 

Some believe that the 31-year-old (1991) Dutchman is the best centre-back in the history of the Premier League, and while some would not agree, there is no denying that he is the best player to wear the Reds number 4 shirt.

Van Dijk has won one Premier League title, one FA Cup, one League Cup, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and one FA Community Shield so far on Merseyside, with his three other trophies coming while he was at Celtic.

The three-time PFA Team of the Year member and PFA Players’ Player of the Year/Premier League Player of the Season in 2018-19 has played 451 games so far, with 46 goals and 23 assists to his name. 

The two-time FIFA FIFPro World XI member has played 49 games for the Netherlands, scoring six times.

Other players to wear the number 4 shirt

  • Alberto Aquilani
  • Andreas Christensen
  • Antonio Galardo
  • Antonio Olmo
  • Ben Godfrey
  • Claudio Gentile
  • Craig Dawson
  • David Alaba
  • David di Tommaso
  • Eladio Silvestre
  • Emmanuel Adebayor
  • Enric Gensana
  • Enrique Álvarez Costas 
  • Fabián Balbuena
  • Frank De Boer
  • Frank Rijkaard
  • Franz Beckenbauer
  • Jason McAteer
  • Jean-Marc Pilorget
  • Joe O’Mahony
  • José Gonzalvo
  • Julio Alberto
  • Kanu Nwankwo
  • Keisuke Honda
  • Kenny Sansom 
  • Kolo Touré
  • Luis Milla 
  • Marcial Pina
  • Mariano Gonzalvo
  • Mason Holgate
  • Michael Keane
  • Michael Thomas
  • Michele Mignani
  • Migueli
  • Miguel Ángel Nadal
  • Mohamed Elneny
  • Moharram Navidkia
  • Norrie McCathie
  • Patrik Andersson 
  • Paul Davis
  • Paul Le Guen
  • Pedro Fernández
  • Raphaël Varane
  • Raul Meireles
  • Ryan Bennett
  • Samuel Kuffour
  • Sergi Barjuán
  • Shane Duffy
  • Stefan Schwarz
  • Stephen Keshi
  • Steve Nicol
  • Steven Gerrard
  • Sulley Muntari
  • Sung-yueng Ki
  • Theo Bos
  • Vincenzo Zucchini