Pause, repeat after me: Players can now wear any number between 1 and 99 (as long as it is unique within their team). Inverted wingers currently feature classic right wingers, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, on the left and traditional left wingers, such as Gareth Bale, on the right. However, these are rare exceptions to the rule.
The number 10 was originally reserved for the captain but today it is possible to find many players in various sports wearing that number. There are also several athletes who have the same birthday; among them are American basketball player LeBron James and Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. Therefore, some coaches give different numbers to their star players to avoid having two athletes with the same number on their teams.
A few years ago, the NBA banned players from using hair oils or sprays to help them get out of their own way while shooting free throws. Free throw shooters must appear in person before a referee to have their names entered into a drawing for prizes. If they make enough free throws during the season, they will win a car. The last person to win a car this way was Carmelo Anthony in 2011.
In 2012, the NFL banned its players from getting tattoos during the offseason. The reason for this rule is so that players are not wearing their favorite artists' work on their bodies when they go up against each other in games.
The number 11 is typically associated with a left winger, but it is also worn by excellent players elsewhere on the field. In the early days of soccer, your number determined your position: number one was a goalkeeper, number nine was a striker, number six was a holding midfielder, and number three was a left back. Today, numbers are more often used to distinguish between similar players.
Number 11 has been worn by several notable players over the years. American Henry "Boxi" Edwards is considered the first-ever international player to wear 11 when he appeared for England in 1872. The number has been popular among American players because there are only 10 positions on a soccer field instead of eleven; thus number 11 usually means that the player is a left winger.
Edmund Garvey "Eddie" Gebhardt is regarded as the father of American soccer. He played for both America and the United States national team from 1895 to 1903. He is also one of only four men to have earned 100 caps for their country. His number 12 has been retired by both teams.
Gebhardt's son John "Johnny" Gebhart Jr. also played for America and the United States national team from 1919 to 1931. He too had his father's name etched onto his chest protector. He is most remembered for scoring the first goal at the Rose Bowl during the final game of the 1930 World Cup.
Due to the sheer number of football heroes that wore the number 10, "10" is one of the most iconic squad numbers in football; playmakers, second strikers, and offensive midfielders typically wear this number. The number "7" is frequently connected with efficient and successful wingers or second attackers. Numbers 2 and 9 are often associated with center forwards or main strikers.
Number 1 has come to be regarded as the default position for the goalkeeper, but originally was not a special case. William Henderson from Scotland is credited with introducing the practice of assigning a number first to the goalkeeper then to the rest of the team. He did so because he felt that all his players should have an opportunity to play regardless of their position on the field. Before his time, keepers were rarely if ever given any special treatment by the managers.
There was once a time when teams didn't have a fixed number of players. Instead, they would pick the best available athletes to suit the game being played. This is why you will sometimes see big, strong men playing at positions such as mid-field or defense where more speed is needed. However, since the early 1950s, professional clubs are required by law to have 13 players on the field during matches. This ensures that no player is unfairly denied his chance to show what he can do.
The only exemption to this rule is if a club uses three keepers.
Several players, including Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, and Wes Brown, have worn three distinct squad numbers since the start of the one player, one number system, but the player with the most squad number changes is David Beckham, who has worn 28, 24, 10, and 7 throughout his career at the club. He is followed by Cristiano Ronaldo (27, 25, 9), Kaka (9, 7, 7), Kaká (7, 7, 8) and Thierry Henry (10, 7, 6).
The only female player to have worn a third squad number is Enid Bennett. The English defender played for the Women's National Team from 1946 to 1956. She wore the number 4 during her career.
The largest crowd to witness a single match is said to be on May 23, 1951 in Bucharest, Romania. It was an international tournament called the World Cup Finals where the Brazilian team defeated Uruguay 4-2. The estimated crowd size was 150,000 people.
The highest average attendance per match over an entire season is around 20,000 people per game. This is based on data from England's Premier League between 1992-93 and 2013-14. The lowest average attendance per match over an entire season is about 1,500 people per game.