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Back in the day, if you saw a player with the number 7, you knew they were all about that fancy footwork, showboating, and sneaking past defenders to set up a sweet cross for their teammates.
Oftentimes from a historical standpoint number (7) is simply reserved for a nimble, trickery, and skillful traditional winger who could create, pass and cause havoc in the box of an opponent.
However, in recent times with soccer evolving every day, the number (7) is been worn by brilliant players who aren’t necessarily traditional wingers.
Just like a glow-up, the number 7 has transformed too – it’s not just for the dribbling showoffs anymore. Time changes everything, even in the game.
10 Best Number 7 Soccer Players Of All Time
When it comes to football, the number 7 is like a secret code for the most gifted wingers on the field. These soccer players have got the moves like Jagger and the speed of a cheetah, all so they can either launch the ball into the net or dish it out to their striking partners.
We’ve dug deep into the archives to uncover the best of the best – the legends who’ve worn the number 7 with pride and left their mark on the beautiful game.
10. Eric Cantona
In 1997, Cantona announced his retirement from soccer at the age of 30 to say goodbye to both the fans and the game itself, following an impactful career at the highest level, particularly with Manchester United where he’s well revered as a god.
The French man is one of United’s all-time best, who made the number 7 shirt famous and mystical. He didn’t only make the shirt famous, he outrightly achieved success coupled with an impactful reign at the club as one of the greatest players in their history.
Aside from the fact that Cantona achieved success at United, he was also a talismanic and magnificent figure who is capable of conjuring magical displays for his team when the need arises like scoring goals and playing a leadership role in the team.
Cantona oozes a lot of quality as a player but the tales of his professional career and successes won’t be complete without mentioning how famous he made the number (7) at Old Trafford.
9. Kevin Keegan
If you don’t remember anything about Keegan, at least you’ll remember that in his three seasons in the Bundesliga, he managed to win the Ballon d’Or twice and played in the European Cup final against Nottingham Forest.
Keegan was absolutely one of the English soccer greats who isn’t shy of putting his own interest first which in the end got him a move to Hamburger, where he capitalized on every opportunity that came with the deal.
For those who saw Keegan play, they’ll surely remember him for his telepathic partnership with John Toshack during their days at Liverpool.
The Mighty Mouse as his nickname suggested didn’t only make the Anfield fans sit on the edge of their seat for nothing, he often ran like a mouse to conjure magical moments in games for the fans to have a taste of what he’s capable of.
8. George Best
George Best was one of the most brutal defense terrorizers and arguably one of the first pioneers of the number 7 shirt in English soccer in the 60s.
The former United star was so good that Brazil’s greatest player of all-time Pele eulogized him for how good he was despite his extra off-field behaviors.
Like or hate him, as a player he was unapologetically one of the best players to ever wear the Red Devil’s number 7, as such til date George Best will forever be remembered as a legendary figure at Old Trafford.
The Northern Ireland star was an exceptional player in every phase of the game, little wonder his country hasn’t been able to produce his kind of player to date. With literally had brilliant talent and successes which includes winning the Ballon d’Or in 1968.
7. Dos Santos Garrincha
If there’s one Brazilian player who can truly take credit for elevating the number 7 jersey to iconic status in both Brazil and the world, it’s Manuel Francisco Dos Santos – better known as Garrincha
It is quite easy to tongue-lash the salubrious sides of Garrincha’s life and how distracted he was during his active years, however, those negative moments in his career don’t mean he wasn’t one of the finest to ever graced and wear the number (7) in his era.
Much has been said and written about the legend of Garrincha, particularly his partnership with the late Pele at the 1962 World Cup, but the manner he singlehandedly maneuver his way to goal with the number 7 dancing high on his back during the 1950s and 60s was surreal.
6. Frank Ribery
Ribery is absolutely one of the greatest wingers in soccer history that mesmerized and robbed full-backs of possession on the pitch with his electrifying pace, flair, and eye for goals both at the national and club level.
When it comes to the legend who once wore the Die Roten colors, there’s no questioning the impact he left on the beautiful game.
From his early days at his hometown club Boulogne at the tender age of 17, he honed his craft with stops at Olympique Ales, Stade Brestois, and Metz, before taking a brief detour to Galatasaray in Turkey. Looking back, it’s clear that Ribery was destined for greatness – and he sure delivered!
The number 7 became a trademark for Ribery when Olympique Marseille was handed a then-club record transfer fee of €25m to bring the Frenchman down to Munich in 2007.
He swiftly matured into a deadly and fearsome winger at Bayern winning a lot of titles and scoring many goals for Die Roten.
5. Andriy Shevchenko
King of Ukrainian soccer right? Absolutely yes, for how impactful his professional career was and how he literally put his country’s name on the World map with his magnificent talent, leadership, and goal-scoring skills.
At the age of 14, a youngster was slowly building a brilliant reputation in his home country with Dynamo Kyiv when they punched above their weight to win the Ian Rush Cup in 1990 with Shevchenko emerging as the top-scorer of the competition.
Shevchenko finally became a fearsome goal-poacher at the age of 18 when he made his debut for Dynamo’s first team and outrightly went on to become a legendary figure.
When Dynamo Kyiv tore up the European competition, the big dogs of the football world started to take notice – including AC Milan, that continental powerhouse.
They wanted Shevy, Dynamo’s star player, and they got him for a sweet £26m. Once he’d slipped on the famous Rossonerri number 7 shirt, the rest was, as they say, history. Shevy went on to enjoy a string of successes that would make even the most legendary players green with envy!
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4. Raul Gonzalez
Raul Gonzalez is one of Los Blanco’s most revered forward with a fearsome instinct in front of goal and a dangerous left foot capable of wracking havoc against any opposition.
The Real Madrid legend often conjured magical displays in an important game for his team which helped him rack up silverware and a lot of triumphant moments.
When you’re great, you’re great and what outrightly made it a sweet tale to tell is the fact he played for arguably the greatest club in Europe, plus he donned the iconic number 7 which comes with a lot of pressure and mystiques.
If there is a mention of players that reached the echelon of their professional career wearing the famous number 7 jersey, Raul Gonzalez Blanco’s name will unapologetically pop up for how impactful his career was right from his young age.
3. David Beckham
When it comes to the poster boy of English soccer and Manchester United in the early 90s, one name stands out above the rest. You guessed it -Beckham was so popular that both his national and club teams were basically riding on his coattails!
Whether you call it star power, charisma, or just plain likability, there’s no denying that he had it in spades
Beckham’s global ubiquity as a super-brand often raised questions from some set of people questioning his footballing skill and ability. However, the truth is the former Real Madrid star is absolutely great player and arguably the best free-kick taker of his generation.
After the era of Cantona with the number 7 was done and dusted at United, Beckham picked up the baton. He wore the same shirt and outrightly justified why he will forever be ranked as one of the club’s greatest players for his consistent free-kick, countless assist, and heartwarming moments of magic in United’s shirt.
2. Luis Figo
Figo will always be remembered as one of Portugal’s greatest exports to the world of football. With his mesmerizing flair, nimble feet, and boundless creativity, he donned the number 7 with pride for both his national team and his club sides.
It’s no wonder that he’s earned his place among the all-time greats of the game, both in Portugal and beyond
The former Real Madrid legend announced himself to the world of soccer six years on after signing for Sporting Lisbon when he made his debut at the age of 17 and 18 for club and national teams respectively.
His breathtaking performance was so good and evident that many predicted he would become a world-class player not only for the national team but also for the clubs that get to sign him.
When he wore the number 7 shirt for Barcelona and Real Madrid, he was simply unstoppable. With effortless and iconic feints, lightning-fast pace, and boundless creativity, he tore down defenders on the flanks and became an instant fan favorite.
Before long, he had evolved into nothing short of a god at the Santiago Bernabeu, leaving an indelible mark on the world of football
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1. Cristiano Ronaldo
When analyzing one of the greatest soccer players ever to lace a boot, Ronaldo’s name will always pop up due to his vast achievements which are absolutely staggering to comprehend.
Ronaldo started wearing the iconic number 7 jersey after one of the Portuguese national team legends Luis Figo bided goodbye to the national team. The Real Madrid all-time goal-scorer swiftly matured into a world-class player before and after taking over the shirt.
The legend of ‘CR7’ which is Ronaldo’s brand name will forever be remembered for what the Portuguese achieved as a professional player, winning the Ballon d’Or five times alongside many other trophies and individual awards.
In terms of output and sheer brilliance in front of goal, even in the twilight of his career with Al Nasr, the former Manchester United star still oozes great ability and an amazing personality on and off the pitch.
Soccer is like a canvas, and the number 7 is like the paintbrush. When the two come together, magic happens.
You don’t have to be a die-hard fan to appreciate the sheer brilliance of the players who have donned that iconic jersey number. These guys aren’t just soccer players – they’re artists.
From the precision of their passes to the elegance of their footwork, they’ve shown us what true talent looks like. So whether you’re a football aficionado or just a casual observer, this list is enough to give you insight into the best soccer players to wear the famous No 7 jersey.
What is number 7 in soccer?
In soccer, the number 7 typically refers to the position of the right winger on the field.
However, the number can also be worn by other attacking players, such as a center forward or an attacking midfielder. The number 7 is associated with players who are skilled at dribbling, crossing, and scoring goals, and who can create chances for their teammates.
Who made soccer jersey number 7 famous?
The soccer jersey number 7 has been worn by many famous and talented players throughout history, so it’s difficult to attribute its fame to a single individual.
However, some of the most notable players who have donned the number 7 jersey and contributed to its popularity include Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, George Best, Garrincha, and Kenny Dalglish.
Each of these players brought their unique talents to the field and left a lasting impact on the game.
Why did Ronaldo choose 7?
When he was a child, Ronaldo’s favorite player was former Manchester United and England winger David Beckham, who also wore the number 7 jersey.
As a young player, Ronaldo admired Beckham’s style of play and the way he carried himself on and off the field, and he decided to adopt Beckham’s number 7 as his own.
Since then, Ronaldo has become synonymous with the number 7 jersey, which has played a significant role in building his brand as a soccer superstar.
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