The legendary number 7 jersey. Debatably one of the most prestigious numbers in football. Whether worn by a red devil or a player from Anfield this number is reserved for the very best players in football.
Even in matches played today, all eyes will be on the player in the number 7, in hopes that they will make the difference. So we asked ourselves who are the best players to wear this great number? Here is our magnificent seven.
George Best perhaps created the legend of the number 7 shirt. In total Best made 470 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions from 1963 to 1974, and scored 179 goals. He is seen as a legend at United and in Northan Ireland being the best football player of all time to come from there. Anyone who wears the number 7 shirt has to live up to his legend.
Arguably the biggest legend in Liverpool history, Kenny Dalglish played for Liverpool for 355 games scoring 118 goals for the club between 1977 and 1990 eventually becoming player-manager and winning several trophies during his time there. He was an extremely prolific number 7 and is widely regard as the best Liverpool manager and player ever.
Eric Cantona moved to Manchester United from Leeds United taking the Number 7 shirt. A very technical and strong forward Cantona crafted himself an iconic status at the club. He was well known for being controversial as well, once attacking a fan which earned him a lengthy ban. However, despite this, he scored 64 goals for United during his career and is still a popular figure there today.
David Beckham is arguably Englands best player of all time. Beckham was given the number 7 jersey that same in 1995 the same year he was brought into the main team. He swiftly established himself as United’s right midfielder and continued to improve winning many trophies at Manchester United and becoming an England Star. When talking about being given the number 7 shirt Beckham said:
“It always was an inspiration for me, but it was never my shirt. It was George Best’s, Bryan Robson’s, Eric Cantona’s. The only reason I wanted to wear the No 7 shirt was because of these players. I didn’t see it as an intimidation, I saw it as a honour … I always wanted the No 7 shirt, I just never thought I’d get it. And when the manager decided to give it to me, it was special.”
David Beckham eventually moved to Real Madrid and subsequently LA Galaxy, AC Millan and Paris Saint Germain before retiring, however, he still remains in the limelight with his charity work and marriage to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.
Luis Suárez is perhaps the most controversial player of all time but that doesn’t take away just how extraordinary of a player he is. Born in Urguary Luis Suárez first started playing football for his local team where the trouble first began as he headbutted a referee who had shown him a red card at the age of 16.
Despite this, his amazing performances earned him a move to Groningen and eventually Ajax where he scored over 100 goals in 4 seasons there.
However, he sparked a lot of controversy for bitting a rival player and also whilst playing for Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup where he purposely stopped a certain goal with his hand against Ghana which ended up meaning Urguary went through on penalties despite Suárez being sent off.
In 2010 Suárez moved to Liverpool where he reportedly asked to be given the Number 7 shirt despite not realising the weight of the number. Suárez had an eventful time at Liverpool scoring lots of goals but also causing controversy with more handballs, biting and racism.
He almost led Liverpool to a title-winning season in 2013-2014 to fall at the final hurdle but despite this and another biting incident at the 2014 World Cup, Suárez moved to Barcelona where he continued his amazing scoring record forming a great partnership with Messi and Neymar.
It is not just all about the men in red. N’Golo Kanté started his playing career at the French Ligue 2 side US Boulogne before moving to Stade Malherbe Caen but it wasn’t until his move in 2015 to Leicester City that he would start making headlines.
In the 2015-2016 season, Leicester City shocked the world by winning the Premier League just a year after narrowly avoiding being relegated the season before. This was in no part to the inspired transfer of N’Golo Kanté who provided some of the best performances seen in Premier League history.
Kanté was the only first team player to leave Leicester the next summer joining Chelsea for a reported fee of 32 million. It was here he was given the number 7 and for the second year in a row Kanté won the Premier League whilst also winning a the Premier League Player of the season award.
He continues to be a magnificent player for Chelsea providing superb performances match after match.
Do you really think we could forget about Cristiano Ronaldo? Arguably the best player of all time (but don’t tell a Messi fan that) Ronaldo has broken almost every record in the number 7 shirt.
Born on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Ronaldo started his career at Sporting Lisbon before making a £12.24 million move to Machester United making him the most expensive teenager in the world at the time.
Speaking about his arrival at Old Trafford, Ronaldo says Ferguson told him to take the revered number seven shirt because he was going to “deserve” it. This put a great amount of pressure on Ronaldo however he went on to become a Manchester United legend during his time there.
Ahead of the 2009- 2010 season, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for £80 million which set a new transfer record at the time. He has since broken records at Real Madrid, Won the Ballon d’Or and Champions League 5 times as well as many other cups with Real Madrid and a European Championship with Portugal in 2016.