Manchester United boast a spectacular history of players wearing their No.10 shirt, both in the Premier League era and before the days of regimented shirt numbers.
Long before those days, the likes of Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law and Nobby Stiles all donned the famous number throughout the years of the Busby Babes. Norman Whiteside, Lou Macari, Brian Kidd, Mark Hughes and the rest would all follow. You get the idea. Some quite magnificent players have pulled on the illustrious shirt.
That’s what makes it so special today, where the shirt is assigned to one man in particular. So, we’ve done our best to rank every player to have worn the famed shirt since the Premier League introduced official squad numbers in 1993.
6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The charismatic Swede arrived at Old Trafford on a free transfer in 2016, and immediately left his mark on the club under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho with his unrelenting eye for goal.
Unfortunately, injury brought his only full season with United to a premature end. By the time he had recovered for the 2017-18 campaign, his No.9 shirt had been given to his replacement up top Romelu Lukaku, and Ibrahimovic only made seven appearances as United’s No.10 before leaving in January for LA Galaxy.
5. David Beckham
Not the number Beckham is traditionally associated with for his time at United – or his career – the English winger was awarded the No.10 shirt ahead of the 1996-97 season as a mark of his increased importance to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Inheriting the shirt from Hughes who was the last to wear it, Beckham only donned the 10 for one season, but made it a memorable one by scoring his spectacular halfway-line strike against Wimbledon in it. Not bad, Becks.
David Beckham vs Wimbledon, 1996. pic.twitter.com/cTRVnq64Ct
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) March 11, 2023
4. Teddy Sheringham
Beckham vacated the shirt ahead of the 1997-98 campaign to take on his now iconic No.7, while new arrival Sheringham took on the No.10.
The veteran took his time to get going, but would eventually prove a crucial rotation arm for Ferguson, netting the equaliser before Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s winner in that Champions League final, and winning the PFA Footballer of the Year award in 2001 following a prolific campaign as United’s leading scorer.
3. Marcus Rashford
Wythenshawe-born Rashford had the unenviable task of taking on the No.10 shirt and transforming himself from young flash in the pan to Manchester United mainstay, a year after a certain legend’s departure left the number vacant in 2017.
In the time since, it’s been a ride filled with ups and downs, but now looks to be heading in the right direction once again with 25-year-old Rashford the talisman and heartbeat of Erik ten Hag’s revived Red Devils. Plenty more to come for the local hero.
2. Ruud van Nistelrooy
Narrowly missing out on top spot is the incredible Dutchman Van Nistelrooy, who completely turned the Premier League on its head following his 2001 arrival from PSV Eindhoven.
A brace to help United win on his Premier League debut was merely the start of things to come over the following five years for the goal-scoring machine. He left for Real Madrid in 2006 with an astonishing 150 goals from 219 games to his name.
It remains a mystery how such a prolific goalscorer only won one league title across his five-year stay at Old Trafford, although turning out in some of Ferguson’s lesser sides has plenty to do with it.
1. Wayne Rooney
Van Nistelrooy comes a close second simply because of this man. United’s all-time top scorer and arguably the greatest English player ever.
253 goals, sixteen major trophies, Footballer of the Year, iconic TV show – you name it, Rooney’s done it. Even the stuff you really don’t want to think about. The man could play in any position and make it look like a walk in the park. Truly elite.
— UnitedReds (@UnitedRedscom) April 9, 2023