Counting down the Premier League's best ever players by shirt number (10-1): Rooney, Shearer...

The battle for places really hots up in the final part of our countdown ranking top-flight players according to what was on the back of their shirts.

Burnley became the first top-flight club in 22 years to name a starting XI which read 1-11 when they faced Liverpool in August.

But despite increased squads and therefore higher squad numbers, the numbers 1-10 in particular still retain their iconic status.

It also means the battle to secure them is fierce, even among team-mates.

In the final instalment of our shirt countdown, we select the Premier League's best-ever wearers of 1-10. Needless to say, some big names didn't make the cut.

10 - Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney Man Utd Aug13

Rooney wore the shirt for 10 seasons at Manchester United and then for one final year at Everton in 2017/18.

The former England forward currently sits second in the all-time Premier League top goalscorers charts, with an impressive 208 goals.

A United icon, Rooney won five Premier League titles, four League Cups, the Europa League, an FA Cup and the Champions League.

The Liverpool-born player was known for his workrate, an incredible compass of passing and his instinctive goalscoring ability.

Perhaps Rooney's most famous goal wearing the No. 10 was his overhead kick against city rivals Manchester City in 2011. The goal won the 158th meeting of the two sides, as well as being voted United's Goal of the Decade in 2020.

The celebration was iconic, too. Rooney stood with his back to the crowd and arms out wide, while the United fans went berserk inside Old Trafford.

9 - Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer Newcastle Feb00

The No. 9 has been worn by a plethora of top-class strikers, but the award has to go to the all-time leading goalscorer in Premier League history.

The Newcastle-born striker started his career with Southampton before moving to Blackburn when the Premier League was born back in 1992.

In four seasons at Ewood Park, the striker had netted on 112 occasions, averaging a goal every 0.8 matches. In his third season, Blackburn defied the odds and won the Premier League with Shearer's partnership with Chris Sutton proving crucial.

A year later, Shearer moved to his boyhood club, Newcastle United, where he would maintain his incredible record of scoring, even though the Magpies only really threatened to win the league in his first few seasons with the club.

The Geordie has a special place in Newcastle fans' hearts and scored 148 goals in the league for his club.

Shearer won the Golden Boot on three occasions, putting him joint-second on the list alongside current England striker Harry Kane.

8 - Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard Chelsea Jun01

The best goalscoring Premier League midfielder of all time. Lampard's style of play was revolutionary, being capable of scoring all types of goals from midfield - free-kicks, penalties, close-range, headers, long-range… and very long-range goals.

His numbers speak volumes as he scored 177 league goals, putting him fifth on the goalscoring charts, with Harry Kane the only active player who could overtake him soon. He is also one of only four players to reach a century of assists.

Lampard helped Chelsea win three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, two League Cups, one Europa League and a Champions League, in 2011/12.

7 - Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd Aug03

Eleven years after he departed for Real MadridCristiano Ronaldo is back in the Premier League and back in the No. 7 shirt.

His first stint at Manchester United produced 84 Premier League goals as a winger. Now an out-and-out striker, Ronaldo has his sights set on joining the 100 club after signing a two-year deal at Old Trafford.

Before leaving for Madrid in 2009, Portugal's record goalscorer won 10 trophies at United. He also lifted the Premier League Golden Boot in 2007/08 and if there was an award for most charismatic player he would win that too.

He faced stiff competition from Old Trafford legends Eric Cantona and David Beckham for the No. 7 shirt but when you're known by the abbreviation CR7 you can't not get the number can you?

6 - Tony Adams

Tony Adams Arsenal May01

Tony Adams deserves this shirt purely based on longevity, having worn the Arsenal No. 6 between 1984 and 2002!

The centre-back was a warrior and a leader, highlighted by the fact he was made the Gunners captain at the age of 21 in 1988 and kept the armband until he retired. Adams clocked up 424 appearances for the club, with 255 coming in the Premier League.

He is also the only player to captain a team to top-flight titles in three consecutive decades.

Adams won many accolades on a personal level, including being named in the 1990s Team of the Decade and being inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

5 - Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand Man Utd Oct03

A defender who was ahead of his time, Rio Ferdinand was a proper ball-playing centre-back. His career saw him play at West HamLeeds United and QPR but most of his success was at Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson saw Ferdinand's potential from a young age and signed the defender from Leeds United for a fee of £30million in 2002, breaking the record for most expensive defender for a second time (after leaving West Ham for Leeds).

Ferdinand was known for his impressive ability on the ball and range of passing and also his composure in defence.

He was a leader and demanded the best from his team-mates, possessing a serial winners' attitude which helped him to a massive haul of silverware at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand's partnership with Nemanja Vidic took his game to another level as the two defenders complimented each other almost perfectly for many seasons.

4 - Patrick Vieira

Patrick Viera Arsenal Apr99

Such a huge presence, Patrick Vieira could do everything on a soccer pitch. Technically gifted he possessed pace, power and certainly was not afraid of making a tackle.

The commanding Frenchman was a key part of Arsene Wenger's success at Arsenal and when he played well, the whole team turned up to play their part.

Brought to England in 1996, he was one of the first players of a 'new generation' in the Premier League.

He created a fantastic understanding with international teammate Emmanuel Petit at Arsenal and they twice won doubles, in 1997/98 and 2001/02.

After Tony Adams retired in 2002, Vieira was seen as the ideal replacement to captain Arsenal and in his second season with the armband, the Frenchman led the club through an unbeaten campaign. They consequently won the league and were, and still are, lauded as 'The Invincibles'.

He left Arsenal in 2005 but returned to the Premier League in 2010 with Manchester City and he is currently the manager of Crystal Palace.

3 - Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra Sir Alex Ferguson Man Utd Jun06

"I love this game!" I think we are all aware of this crazy man's Instagram videos, in which he is always contagiously joyous.

In his playing days, Evra enjoyed plenty of success at Manchester United as their left-back for eight years. He won five Premier League winners' medals and a Champions League among many other trophies for the Red Devils.

He competed in five international tournaments for France and captained them during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Sir Alex Ferguson saw Evra as a leader of the United dressing room and as well as contributing massively on the pitch he mentored many younger talents in the changing room.

Evra was equally adept at attacking and defending and had a decent scoring record for a full-back, especially with headers, even though he only stands at 5ft 9in tall.

The Senegal-born player made 278 Premier League appearances and is one of the best defenders to have graced the league.

2 - Gary Neville

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Gary Neville Man Utd Apr02

Neville was a one-club man and first-choice right-back at Old Trafford for almost two decades. He won an astonishing 20 trophies at United, including the treble in 1999 and is certainly worthy of being named as the best No. 2 in Premier League history.

He graduated as part of the Manchester United Class of '92 academy along with brother Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.

Although not blessed with great pace, Neville made up for it with his soccer brain, sheer determination and commitment to the club that he grew up supporting.

He gained first-team experience at a young age and was an extremely mature player who understood what it took to win games and trophies. The right-back made 398 league appearances for United and is definitely regarded as a club legend by the United supporters.

1 - Petr Cech

Petr Cech Chelsea

The record clean sheet holder in the Premier League, Cech pinches this position from the grasp of the Great Dane, Peter Schmeichel.

The seven-time Czech Republic Footballer of the Year played 443 Premier League matches for Chelsea and Arsenal over a period of 15 years.

He kept an incredible 202 clean sheets between the sticks before retiring in 2019. He holds many goalkeeping records in the top flight including fewest appearances to reach 100 clean sheets, the most clean sheets in a season with 24 and is the only goalkeeper to win the Golden Glove with two separate clubs.

He was part of Chelsea's title-winning teams in 2004/05 and 2005/06 and then again in 2009/10 and 2014/15.

Cech also won the Champions League, Europa League and five FA Cups to cement his place as the Premier League's number one No. 1.

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