Unsurprisingly there aren’t too many soccer players that are number 12 for their club.
While footballers tend to choose the number they want, the first 11 numbers are the main ones that tend to be assigned to each position in the starting eleven.
So you would have number 1 in goal and a number 11 playing in midfield.
Now despite the number not being one of the most sought after, there are a number of class players who wear the number on their shirt.
In this post, we are going to look at some of the best but also some emerging talents that are currently wearing the number 12 jersey.
1. Marcelo Viera – Real Madrid
Marcelo has been arguably one of the best left-backs of the past 10 years.
This is reflected by the fact that he is currently the highest paid in this position.
However, that is due to change with rumors that he will be leaving his current club to go to Fluminese in Brazil at the end of the season.
With that said the Brazilian-born defender has enjoyed a successful career playing with the Los Blancos.
A place where he has won 5 league titles, 2 Copa Del Reys (Spanish domestic cup), and 4 Supercop De Espana.
He has also managed to win four Champions League titles over his time in Madrid, one of which in 2014 saw him even get on the scoreline late in extra time.
Now at 33 years of age, he has been slightly out of favor over the past few years with coach Zinedine Zidane due to a combination of injuries and Ferland Mendy’s displays.
With that said though, he still has a year left on his contract, and with him also being named the captain for the 2021/22 season you should be able to catch him a few times in that number 12 jersey for Real Madrid.
2. Willian – Arsenal
Since changing from the blue of Chelsea to the red of Arsenal at the start of the 2020 season, Willan has been yet to hit the heights that he has been capable of.
Despite that since coming to the Premier League he has been a class act on several occasions, and while his one goal in 25 games is far from impressive at Arsenal, he was certainly a fan favorite at Chelsea.
While he is currently number 12 for Arsenal, he hasn’t always had that shirt. For his home country Brazil he wears 19 and for Chelsea, he wore 22, however with fellow compatriot Pablo Mari having the number 22 shirt, Willian settled on 12.
3. Jules Kounde – Sevilla FC
A player many are starting to become familiar with is Jules Kounde, who at the age of 21 has become a mainstay in the Sevilla defense for the past few seasons.
With the hype around the then-teenager, it was the Spanish side that secured his signature when they brought him from Bordeaux for €25 million. This also saw him select the number 12 when he had previously been 4 and 31 for the French outfit.
During his spell in Seville, he has notably won the Europa League back in 2019-20 along with receiving getting his first call up to France national side. His performances for his club, saw him awarded with two caps and inclusion in the Euro 2020 squad despite not featuring.
4. Dmitri Payet
Dmitry Payet is an attacking midfielder who currently plays for Marseille. He is one of the most talented French soccer players that wear number 12, with predecessors such as Thierry Henry wearing the shirt.
Now at the moment that is the number he wears for the country however for his club, he has 10 on the back.
He is a player who at times over his career has quite literally produced moments of brilliance.
With his displays at West Ham in 2015-2016 and the 2016 European Championships where he helped France reach the final on home soil, coming straight to mind.
What has always been the case though with Payet is that despite his talent, he does lack consistency which is likely one of the reasons why Didier Deschamps stopped picking him for country.
Being a West Ham fan myself, I remember so many quality goals and assists he scored for us, however, there is a lot of frustration that he hasn’t been able to do it week in a week out.
At 34 and back playing in France after his spell in England, he is still the main maestro for Marseille.
5. Rafinha Alcantara
Rafinha is a centre midfielder who is an attacking midfielder who came through the ranks at Barcelona.
Known for being a player full of talent but also brother to Thiago Alcantara, he spent over 15 years in Barcelona’s system.
However despite his brother playing for Barcelona, it never really worked out for him and after only 56 appearances in 9 years for the Catalan giants he made the move to PSG.
While games were at a premium, and loan transfers meant he was constantly on the move, he managed to win the Champions League, the La Liga three times and the Copa Del Rey a whopping 5 times.
Since swapping Barcelona for Paris, the Brazilian born attacking playmaker has seemed to finally find his stride wearing the number 12 shirt and joining up with fellow countryman and ex-teammate Neymar Jr too.
So there you have it, those above are soccer players that are number 12 for either their country or club right now.
Know of any talented players who have this shirt number that should be on the list?
Do let me know below!
Also if you enjoyed reading this post, then you should find these posts below interesting too:
- Do Soccer Players Choose Their Numbers?
- 14 World-Class Footballers Who All Wear Number 14
- 7 Famous Footballers Who Currently Wear Number 15