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Legends of the Game: The Greatest Matches Played by Iconic Number Tens

The number 10 jersey in football is not just a number; it’s a symbol of responsibility, creativity, and leadership. Over the years, this shirt has been worn by players who possessed an almost magical ability to change the course of the game with a single pass or goal. These maestros, whose style and finesse are mirrored in every TENLEGEND® piece, have given us some of the most thrilling matches in football history. Today, we recount some of these legendary performances, celebrating the spirit that TENLEGEND® embodies: elegance, mastery, and a timeless connection to the beautiful game.

Pelé: 1970 World Cup Final - Brazil vs Italy

On June 21, 1970, in the sweltering heat of Mexico City, Pelé led Brazil to its third World Cup victory, securing their permanent possession of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Wearing the number 10, Pelé opened the scoring with a powerful header, setting the tone for what would become a masterclass in football. His performance in this match—characterized by his visionary passes and spatial awareness—cemented his status as a football legend. Brazil entered the final seeking their third World Cup title, which would entitle them to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently—a fitting tribute to a team that had dazzled the world with their football. The team, led by Pelé, was a blend of skill, creativity, and tactical prowess, featuring other greats like Jairzinho, Tostão, and Rivellino. Italy, on the other hand, had shown resilience throughout the tournament, culminating in a grueling semi-final victory over West Germany. Pelé’s performance in the 1970 World Cup Final was a fitting climax to his World Cup career. It was his third World Cup win—a record that remains unmatched. The image of Pelé being carried off the field by his teammates, triumphant, is etched in the annals of sports history.

This match did more than just secure Brazil's third World Cup; it immortalized Pelé as a symbol of excellence and grace in football. The qualities he displayed—leadership, elegance, and a joyful expression of the game—are those that TENLEGEND® seeks to embody. Just as Pelé elevated the beautiful game with his skill and spirit, TENLEGEND® aims to elevate menswear, combining the precision and flair seen in Pelé’s play with the timeless elegance of fashion. Each piece in our collections is crafted to reflect this legacy—designed not just to be worn, but to be experienced, much like the unforgettable performances of the great number ten, Pelé.

Diego Maradona: 1986 World Cup Quarter-final - Argentina vs England

Perhaps no other match is as synonymous with the legend of a number 10 as this one. Maradona’s infamous 'Hand of God' goal was controversial, but his second goal in the same game was a breathtaking display of skill and poise. Dribbling more than half the length of the pitch, passing five England players, Maradona scored what would be called "the Goal of the Century." 

The context of this match added layers of tension and drama. It was played just four years after the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom, adding a political and emotional charge to the encounter. Maradona, already recognized as one of the world's top players, took to the pitch with the weight of his nation's expectations resting squarely on his shoulders. 

The Hand of God

The first of Maradona's two legendary goals came in the 51st minute. The goal, later famously known as the "Hand of God," saw Maradona use his left hand to punch the ball into the net, a fact that was missed by the referee but seen by millions on television. This goal has been debated for decades, criticized for its blatant disregard for the rules yet also somewhat admired for its cunning audacity. Maradona himself described it as "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God," encapsulating his flair for melding skill with a cheeky rebelliousness.

Goal of the Century

Just four minutes after the controversial handball, Maradona scored what was voted in a 2002 FIFA poll as the "Goal of the Century." Receiving the ball in his own half, Maradona embarked on a dazzling 60-yard run, during which he exhibited extraordinary dribbling ability to evade five England players before coolly finishing past goalkeeper Peter Shilton. This goal was a masterpiece of balance, precision, and poise, showcasing Maradona’s remarkable individual skill and his ability to perform under pressure.

Impact on the Game and Beyond

Maradona's performance in this quarter-final did more than secure Argentina's advancement to the semi-finals; it cemented his status as a football legend. He not only dominated the match but did so with a style and swagger that epitomized the essence of the number ten jersey. His blend of raw talent and streetwise cunning captured the imagination of football fans around the world. This match exemplifies the boldness and creativity that TENLEGEND® admires and infuses into its fashion line for those who dare to stand out. Maradona, with his flair and passion on the field, exemplifies what it means to be a legend. This spirit—bold, innovative, and undeniably elegant—is woven into every piece of TENLEGEND® clothing, celebrating not just the history of football but the enduring style and charisma of those who play it.

Michel Platini: 1984 European Championship Semi-final - France vs Portugal

Michel Platini's performance in the 1984 European Championship, especially during the semi-final against Portugal, is a prime example of leadership under pressure. The 1984 European Championship semi-final between France and Portugal is often cited as one of the greatest matches in the history of international football. At the heart of this thrilling encounter was Michel Platini, France's captain and talismanic number ten. His performance throughout the tournament, and particularly in this match, is a defining moment in his illustrious career.


The match took place on June 23, 1984, at the Parc des Princes in Paris. The stakes were high, with a place in the final on the line, and the host nation France was driven by a passionate home crowd. The French team, led by their inspirational number ten, Michel Platini, had been impressive throughout the tournament, but they faced a resilient Portuguese side that was determined to spoil the host nation’s party.

Michel Platini's leadership, vision, and clutch performance in the 1984 semi-final embody the qualities that TENLEGEND® admires and seeks to represent in its fashion line. Like Platini, TENLEGEND® aims to deliver excellence and elegance, ensuring that each garment is a testament to the artistry and precision that the greatest football legends bring to the pitch. Platini’s ability to perform under pressure and his knack for decisive plays are mirrored in the meticulous craftsmanship of TENLEGEND® apparel, designed for those who appreciate the blend of style, history, and quality.

Platini's iconic status and his unforgettable performance in the 1984 semi-final serve as a perfect parallel for TENLEGEND®'s commitment to celebrating football’s rich heritage through sophisticated and timeless fashion. Just as Platini left a lasting legacy on the football field, TENLEGEND® aims to create a lasting impression in the world of fashion, for gentlemen who carry the spirit of the game with them in every walk of life.


Zinedine Zidane: 1998 World Cup Final - France vs Brazil

The 1998 World Cup Final, held on July 12 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, is etched in the annals of football history, predominantly for the masterful performance of Zinedine Zidane. The French midfielder, wearing the iconic number 10 jersey, delivered a display that would forever enshrine him as one of football's greatest players. His pivotal role in France's 3-0 victory over Brazil not only secured France their first World Cup but also exemplified the embodiment of grace under pressure, a quality that resonates deeply with the values of TENLEGEND®.

The final pitted host nation France against the defending champions Brazil, a team widely regarded as favorites and boasting a lineup filled with stars like Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Cafu. The match was more than a contest for the title; it was a clash of cultures, styles, and footballing philosophies. For Zidane, this was the ultimate stage to showcase his artistry and leadership.

Zidane Rises to the Occasion

From the onset, Zidane imposed his presence on the game. His control, vision, and intelligence in midfield helped France dominate the proceedings. His first goal came in the 27th minute from a corner kick delivered by Emmanuel Petit. Rising above everyone else, Zidane headed the ball powerfully into the net, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. But he wasn’t done yet. Before halftime, he repeated the feat with another header from a corner by Youri Djorkaeff. These two goals not only cemented his status as a national hero but also swung the momentum firmly in France’s favor.

A Tactical Masterclass

Zidane's performance was not just about the goals he scored but also about his overall play. He orchestrated the midfield with precision, breaking down the Brazilian attacks and launching French forays forward. His ability to maintain composure and dictate the pace of the game under immense pressure was a testament to his technical and mental prowess. This tactical masterclass disrupted Brazil’s rhythm and neutralized their threat, allowing France to control the game.

Legacy of the Match

The impact of this match on French football and on Zidane’s career was profound. It announced France as a football powerhouse and celebrated their multicultural squad, symbolizing unity and diversity. For Zidane, the man from Marseille of Algerian descent, the victory was a personal triumph that elevated him to the status of a global football icon. His calm demeanor and graceful handling of the pressure mirrored the elegance and strength that TENLEGEND® aims to encapsulate in its garments.


Roberto Baggio: 1993 UEFA Cup Final - Juventus vs Borussia Dortmund

In the 1993 UEFA Cup Final, Roberto Baggio, wearing the iconic number 10, was instrumental in securing Juventus’s victory. His incredible solo goal in the second leg highlighted his technical prowess and individual skill. Baggio’s ability to turn games around with his ingenuity and precision is mirrored in TENLEGEND®’s attention to detail and commitment to crafting the perfect fit for its clientele. Roberto Baggio’s performances over the two legs were a masterclass in technical ability and mental fortitude. He was not just a forward who scored goals; he was a playmaker who influenced games with his intelligence and skill. His impact in the 1993 UEFA Cup Final solidified his reputation as one of the best number 10s in the world, capable of leading his team to glory in important matches.

Roberto Baggio and TENLEGEND®


The elegance and artistry of Roberto Baggio's play resonate deeply with the ethos of TENLEGEND®. Just as Baggio brought grace and finesse to the pitch, TENLEGEND® brings these qualities to the world of fashion through its meticulously crafted apparel. Each garment is designed to reflect the sophistication and class that Baggio exemplified throughout his career. His ability to perform under pressure and his commitment to excellence align perfectly with TENLEGEND®’s vision of providing premium, timeless fashion for those who appreciate the finer aspects of both sport and style.

Baggio’s legacy is not just about the goals and the victories but also about the way he played the game—with creativity, respect, and a touch of magic, qualities that TENLEGEND® embodies in every piece it creates. By wearing TENLEGEND®, patrons can evoke the spirit of iconic football legends like Baggio, blending the art of football with the art of fashion, and crafting a legacy of their own in their everyday lives.


Lionel Messi: 2011 UEFA Champions League Final - Barcelona vs Manchester United


The 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, played at Wembley Stadium in London, was a footballing masterclass largely orchestrated by Lionel Messi, Barcelona's iconic number 10. His performance against Manchester United not only emphasized his status as one of the greatest footballers of his generation but also embodied the tactical brilliance and artistic expression that define both Messi and the Barcelona style of play. 

Messi's Dominant Performance

From the outset, Messi was the focal point of Barcelona’s attack. His quick dribbling and precise passing kept United's defense on constant alert. His movement, both on and off the ball, created numerous challenges for United, pulling their defenders out of position and creating spaces for his teammates.

The defining moment came in the 54th minute, with the score at 1-1. Messi received the ball about 20 yards from goal, looked up, and unleashed a fierce low shot that beat goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. This goal, Messi's first in a Champions League final, not only restored Barcelona's lead but also shifted the momentum irreversibly in their favor. Messi’s goal was a moment of individual brilliance that highlighted his ability to decide big games.


Messi and TENLEGEND®

Lionel Messi's artistry and mastery in the 2011 final resonate with TENLEGEND®’s commitment to excellence and elegance in its fashion line. Messi demonstrates that true legends are not just born; they are also made through dedication, skill, and a relentless pursuit of perfection—qualities that TENLEGEND® embodies in every piece of apparel it crafts. Like Messi, TENLEGEND® aims to inspire its wearers to achieve greatness, offering garments that combine comfort, style, and a sense of timeless elegance.

Messi's performance in that final is a testament to the heights that can be achieved through skill and creativity, reflecting the aspirations of TENLEGEND® to not just dress the modern gentleman but to imbue him with the confidence and class exhibited by the world's greatest football legends. Through its products, TENLEGEND® celebrates not only the legacy of these great number tens but also the style and substance they bring to every arena they grace.

The Spirit of TENLEGEND®


Each of these matches features a moment of brilliance, a spark of genius from players who redefine the boundaries of football. At TENLEGEND®, we strive to embody the spirit of these iconic number tens, translating their mastery and elegance into fashion that speaks to those who appreciate the finer aspects of life and sport. Our garments are designed for the modern gentleman, who, much like the legendary number tens, values authenticity, performance, and style.

In celebrating these legendary matches and players, TENLEGEND® not only honors the past but also inspires a future where the elegance and spirit of football continue to influence every stitch and seam. Join us in this journey of style and passion, where every day is an opportunity to craft your own legend, on and off the field.

Join us in celebrating these legends of the game. 


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