Iconic European Football Bingo: Celebrating the Greats

Johan Cruyff Barcelona Real Madrid

Football has a long and rich tradition in the UK, currently entertaining men, women and children alike.

The new global game is very much an inclusive sport, with stadiums now safe for families and free of so many of the negative aspects of the eighties and before.

Like football, bingo has become a game for both genders and all ages, developing over time. Whereas once bingo was associated with rooms full of women with dabbers at the ready, that is no longer the case.

A BBC article explains how Britain is once again falling in love with bingo, taking it out of the seaside towns and village halls and into the mainstream. It’s believed those players will spend £30m this year on their hobby.

There are many varieties of bingo but 90-ball is by far the most popular. Foxy Bingo’s guide on how to play 90-ball breaks down the basics of the game, and it is easy to see why it is played up and down the country. That’s 90 different funny bingo calls to laugh at, and it is the perfect game to get people laughing. So it is no surprise the game is still drawing in the crowds.

But what is the game doing to appeal to a new generation of players?

The Telegraph explains that in order to connect with a newer, younger player base the traditional calls are being fazed out. No longer is 88 two fat ladies, instead it’s now two body positive ladies. Not everyone is happy with the development as bingo continues to veer away from old stereotypes.

We’ve decided to add our own, special twist to the bingo calls, picking a brand-new selection for 30-ball bingo based on some of the most iconic of European footballer’s shirt numbers instead of the traditional calls.

Have we missed out your favourite?

1 – Dino Zoff: The Italian might have predated squad numbers, but he never wore another shirt number and is a natural choice for the first call.

2 – Cafu: The Brazilian played for Roma and AC Milan, winning a Champions League with the latter.

3 – Paulo Maldini – Arguably one of the greatest left backs of them all, he played 902 times for Milan, winning four European Cups.

4 – Patrick Vieira: A key player in the Arsenal Invincibles side, Vieira always wore number 4 in midfield.

5 – Franz Beckenbauer: Der Kaiser won the World Cup both as a player and a manager with West Germany.

6 – Booby Moore: England’s captain in 1966 wore number six and pips Franco Baresi in our list.

7 – Eric Cantona: The enigmatic Frenchman wore number 7 for Manchester United.

8 – Andreas Iniesta: Does any midfielder epitomise the wonderful Spanish team of the last decade in the way Iniesta does?

9 – Marco Van Basten: Injury cut short the career of the terrific Van Basten, who fired the Dutch to European success in 1988.

10 – Zinedine Zidane: Zizou has won the World Cup as well as the Champions League both as a player and a manager.

11 – Ryan Giggs: International success eluded the Welsh wizard, but he was a big part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United legacy.

12 – Marcelo: Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo currently wears shirt number 12.

13 – Michael Ballack: Unlucky for some? Not Ballack, probably the best midfielder not to win a major European trophy.

14 – Johan Cruyff: The Dutch magician wore 14 for all three of Ajax’s European Cup triumphs.

15 – Mats Hummels: The towering German wears number 15 for his country.

16 – Roy Keane: A member of Manchester United’s famous Champions League winning side of 1999.

17 – Kevin De Bruyne: Current Manchester City and Belgium midfielder De Bruyne is amongst the best players in the world right now.

18 – Jürgen Klinsmann: Not just a top player for Germany, but part of their reinvention following the awful 2002 World Cup showing.

19 – Leroy Sané: The Germany and Manchester City man has a long and successful career ahead of him.

20 – Gonzalo Higuain: Chelsea’s 2019 Europa League win was the first European trophy of the Argentinian’s career.

21 – Andrea Pirlo: A Talksport article reveals that Chelsea once turned down the chance to sign the Italian superstar.

22 – Kaka: The Brazilian was a World Cup winner in 2002 and a Champions League winner in 2007.

23 – David Beckham: Beckham wore 23 at Real Madrid and is currently involved in MLS side Inter Miami who hope to compete in 2020.

24 – Yaya Toure: The midfielder wore number 24 for Barcelona before moving to England.

25 – Adrien Rabiot: The Juventus man is a five-time Ligue 1 winner with PSG.

26 – John Terry: The Chelsea defender held their defence together during the Jose Mourinho era.

27 – Divock Origi: The Belgian grabbed one of Liverpool’s goals in the 2019 Champions League final.

28 – Cristiano Ronaldo: We didn’t miss him out; he wore 28 at Sporting Lisbon.

29 – Kingsley Coman: The French winger has won domestic titles in France, Germany and Italy.

30 – Nicolas Otamendi: The 31-year-old now has two Premier League titles to his name.