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Joao Felix: How past six players to wear 11 in Chelsea fared

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  • Portugal international striker Joao Felix has signed for Premier League side Chelsea
  • Felix has signed from Atletico Madrid on a loan deal and will wear the number 11 at Chelsea
  • SportsLeo looks at some of the past players to wear the number 11 shirt at Chelsea 

Over the years, some extremely outstanding and recognizable names have worn the number 11, including Mohamed Salah, Rivaldo, George Best, and Gareth Bale. It’s unquestionably a unique shirt number.

It is also the number Joao Felix was assigned after moving to Chelsea, and he will use it while on loan at Stamford Bridge through the end of the 2022–23 season.

There have been many noteworthy elevens at the Bridge over the years, albeit some performed better than others, as the list below will show.

Joao Felix

Joao Felix will wear the shirt number 11 at Chelsea. | PHOTO: Chelsea fc |

SportsLeo takes a look at the last five players to have taken up that famous number and how they fared in Chelsea blue.


Prior to the 2012–13 campaign, a then–20-year–old Oscar arrived in west London after signing for the Blues in a transaction worth roughly £20 million with pretty high hopes. The midfielder, who is thought to be a star-making prospect for Brazil’s next generation, did, to his credit, have flashes of brilliance when playing at Stamford Bridge.


Oscar was a promising youngster at Chelsea before leaving for China. | PHOTO: Clive Mason |

His magnificent goal against Juventus in the 2012–13 Champions League group stage will live on as a lasting reminder of his time in England. The looping, bending, perfectly controlled yet fierce strike into the top corner embodied his limitless potential (the goal was also his second on his Champions League debut, which also gave the nod to his quality).

In his first season at the Bridge, he would score 10 goals and provide eight assists throughout European competition and the Premier League, significantly contributing to Chelsea’s victory in the Europa League and third-place finish domestically.

The next season was also spectacular, but after that, there was no real advancement. His eventual move to China was a huge shock to everyone after winning two Premier League championships, the League Cup, and enjoying success in Europe. However, considering his mainly negative trajectory in his final two seasons at the club, a transfer away from SW6 was not that surprising.


There is no debate over the Chelsea career of Didier Drogba, however.

Unquestionably one of west London’s legends is The Ivorian. He was initially handed the number 15 shirt during his first stint, but later adopted the number 11 and had little issue reclaiming it when he returned to Stamford Bridge for the 2014–15 season.

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba is arguably one of the best-ever Chelsea players. | PHOTO: Chelsea FC |

Everyone would agree that it was amazing to have the striker back in the Premier League and back in Chelsea blue, even though he may not have lived up to the 341 games, 157 goals, and 84 assists he managed between 2005 and 2012.

During his year-long second stint at the club, he only started seven of the 28 league games he played in and contributed to five goals in 852 minutes of action. Despite this, he still managed to add another Premier League championship medal to his collection. He managed to participate in a goal every 97 minutes in the Champions League before the Blues were eliminated in the round of 16.

Drogba’s overall statistics for Chelsea speak for themselves, regardless of his performance upon his comeback.


Cuadrado’s stint with the number 11 shirt was so short it almost doesn’t warrant a mention. But mention it we will.

The Colombian’s time at Stamford Bridge did not go well, and he seemed destined for the exit door even when he came on as a substitute in a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in August 2015.

Juan Cuadrado briefly wore shirt number 11 at Chelsea. | PHOTO: Premier League |

He sported the 11 shirt for 26 minutes before switching to Juventus later that month. He’s gone on to make over 200 appearances for the Italian giants as a versatile winger.


After becoming a sensation and earning the title of wonder boy during his breakout seasons with Milan, Alexandre Pato’s transfer to Chelsea years later was strange from the start due to his history of injuries.

After making considerable progress in reviving his career in Brazil, Chelsea hired the Brazilian on loan for the second half of the 2015–16 campaign in January 2016.

Alexandre Pato

Alexandro Pato struggled during his short stint at Chelsea. | PHOTO: Stu Forster |

The striker didn’t make his debut for nearly three months (although to be fair, he did win and convert a penalty in the Blues’ 4-0 Premier League victory that day against Aston Villa), and after earning his second appearance the following week (starting in a 1-0 loss to Swansea), he never played again.


Pedro’s stay in west London was everything but brief. The Spanish player grabbed number 11 the next season and wore it until his departure in the summer of 2020, after donning the number 17 jersey during his debut season in 2015–16.

The former Barcelona winger had a steady presence during his five years at Stamford Bridge; he rarely dazzled spectacularly but never wavered from consistency. He concluded his Chelsea tenure as a Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League champion.


Pedro won three major titles at Chelsea wearing the number 11 shirt. | PHOTO: Pedro |

He was imposing as he played a key role in Chelsea’s 2016–17 Premier League victory, tallying nine goals and ten assists in 35 appearances over the course of the season, as well as the club’s 2018–19 Europa League victory, scoring five goals and dishing out three assists while participating in all but one of the Blues’ games.


Timo Werner will pass on the number 11 jersey to Felix, and we all know how his Chelsea career turned out.

His two-year stint at Stamford Bridge was rifer with offside gags than goals as he became a target for jokes. He joined the club in the summer of 2020 after scoring 28 Bundesliga goals for RB Leipzig the season before.

Undoubtedly, the German showed flashes of brilliance and had memorable moments (a Champions League title, to which he contributed four goals and two assists, comes to mind), but he never really took off at Chelsea. His second-season slump is all the more disappointing given that his first season saw him assist a whopping 12 goals while only managing six of his own.

The German left Stamford Bridge after a terribly poor 2021/22 season, falling short of his £50 million price tag.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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