Soccer & Number 10
Yes I played soccer since I was 10. I started when we lived in Canada, continued through high school in Omaha, kept it going while at Georgetown, and pressed on for another few years in Chicago.
However, playing soccer does NOT make me the authority on all things soccer, like rules, factoids and other game nuances. As we tune in to the World Cup, each (and every) time my husband has a question about the game, and I do not have a definitive answer I hear, "But I thought you played soccer for 15 years????"
So today's ignorance concerns the significance of the number 10. And while I am all too familiar with Pele's dexterity and fame, I didn't know that he wore number 10, nor did I know that in soccer circles, this number is typically worn by the most skillful player on a team; usually a midfielder or striker. Fans, announcers and others will even refer to forwards and attacking midfielders as "number 10 players." Who knew? Not me.
Other soccer legends that have donned the 10: Argentine player Diego Maradona, considered one of the best technical players of all time--and most controversial. Hungarian Ferenc Puskas, known as the "Galloping Major" wore 10 and captained the 1952 Olympic Gold medal winning team. Ferenc later went on to earn fame playing for Spain's Real Madrid. And while maybe not quite yet a "legend", is 2x World Cup ('91 & '99) winning team player, Michelle Akers. We understand she wore the number in college and kept it while playing for the US women's team. Aly Wagner now sports the famous digits.
Not a World Cup fan? How about a movie? "Bend it Like Beckham" is a great flick. And FYI, "bend it" is used to describe the trajectory of a ball kicked from a dead stop-e.g., a free kick. Skilled players can make the ball go in one direction and then another-hence bending it.
If you're interested in more soccer tidbits and basics, check this "Soccer for Dummies" article out.