1 – Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese superstar is known as the perfect scoring machine. However, Ronaldo did not play in the number 9 role during his first years with Sporting CP and Manchester United.
CR7 often kicks on the wing, highlighted by situations of foot reversal, dribbling, and passing. ‘Performance’ became a phrase associated with Ronaldo in the first years of his peak playing career.
In the Real Madrid shirt, Ronaldo gradually became a top-class striker. The change of position and the style of play contributed to bringing CR7 to the top of his career.
2 – Gareth Bale
Bale started as a left-back in the Southampton shirt, his first time playing at Tottenham Hotspur. The turning point happened to Bale in the 2010/2011 season.
Coach Harry Redknapp decided to push Bale to the wing, moving wide. Facts prove Redknapp was right. The former Wales international exploded with an impressive hat-trick against Inter Milan in the Champions League.
The explosive performance with Tottenham became a stepping stone to help Bale arrive at Real Madrid. The 33-year-old former player turned into a classy winger in the color of Los Blancos. Bale won 5 Champions League titles with the Spanish team.
3 – Thierry Henry
In 1999, Henry joined Arsenal. The French legend started out as a winger. However, former manager Arsene Wenger decided to pull Henry into play in the role of a central striker.
In fact, it was a wise decision of the French captain. Henry became one of the greatest number 9s in Premier League history.
Henry was voted EPL player of the season 2003/2004. Henry contributed 175 goals in 258 matches. “In my opinion, Henry is one of the best players in the Premier League,” Michael Owen said.
4 – Philipp Lahm
The former German football player is considered one of the best defenders of his generation. Lahm won many noble titles at club and national level: 8 Bundesliga titles, 1 Champions League, 1 World Cup.
Lahm can play well in the role of right and left back. However, Pep Guardiola has discovered another potential in his students.
The Spaniard helps ‘unlock’ Lahm’s talent in the central midfield role. With innate tactical thinking, the former Germany international quickly adapted and shined in his new position.
5 – Andrea Pirlo
Pirlo is one of the few players to have played for the three Italian football giants, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus. The 43-year-old legend started in the classic No. 10 role.
The turning point came for Pirlo when he joined AC Milan. Coach Carlo Ancelotti decided to place the student to play in the position of a deep-lying defensive midfielder. The fact that Pirlo has adapted is impressive.
Many experts consider Pirlo to be one of the best players in his position. In the Milan shirt, the former Italy player won 2 Serie A titles, 2 Champions Leagues, 2 European Super Cups, 1 FIFA Club World Cup.
Mr. Nguyen | 07:47 April 29, 2023