Ahead of the return of the Premier League we look at the 7 best number 7’s to grace the Premier League since its inception in 1992.
Is there a better number to wear on the football pitch then the number 7? Not only is the number 7 considered lucky across western culture but 7 is down right sexy and it requires a very special player to wear it on the back of their shirt.
For those of you that don’t know about life before the Premier League (yes, top flight football started well before 1992!) some of the greatest players to grace the hallowed turf have worn 7 on their back. Think of greats like George Best, Kenny Dalglish, Luis Figo & Raúl but who are the greatest players to wear the iconic 7 in the Premier League?
Eric Cantona – Manchester United
Is there a player that wore the shirt as well as Eric Cantona? He had all the ingredients that a world class number 7 needs… nicknamed ‘The King’ he also possessed swagger, wore his collar like a boss, was completely & utterly unpredictable and brought a state of nonchalance to English football that we probably haven’t seen since. He wasn’t too shabby with the ball at his feet either.
Robert Pires – Arsenal
The French winger was the replacement for Marc Overmars at The Gunners after his £25million departure to Barcelona. Admittedly he struggled to get going in English football with many saying his slight build was not fit for the Premier League physicality. However, things eventually clicked for the French man scoring 62 goals in 198 appearances from the flank.
Like all great number 7’s he was exceptionally arrogant & possessed delicate trickery with a pinch of elegance whilst playing in what was already a superb Arsenal team. Football fans will remember him for egotistically trying to walk a penalty into the net against Man City whilst Gooners will remember him for his 8 goals against arch rivals Spurs.
David Beckham – Manchester United
Becks was a true footballing icon and is arguably the scorer of the Premier League’s most iconic goal – his halfway line finish against Wimbledon on the opening day of 1996/97 season. It had everything – the majestic Beckham technique, the ball hanging in the air for what seemed like eternity, Neil Sullivan scrambling back to his goal line, John Motson on the commentary, limbs behind the goal and a smug young David Beckham announcing himself to the world of football.
Becks won’t go down as one of the all time greats but he was the first mega football celebrity combining the world of sport with the world of fashion and pop culture. The number 7 is part of David Beckham’s DNA and for that reason alone he makes the list.
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Took on the number 7 shirt at Manchester City following his controversial £44million move across the Pennines from rivals Liverpool. It’s fair to say his career didn’t reach the expected heights at City until the rival of Pep Guardiola who seems to have transformed Raheem Sterling into a truly world class English talent.
Unfairly targeted in the earlier stages of his career by the British media Sterling has since used his profile & celebrity status to help break down racial prejudices within the UK and is now listed as one of the most influential Black Britons in the annual Powerlist.
Luis Suarez – Liverpool
Luis Suarez’s time at Liverpool wasn’t quiet to say the least. Putting aside the racism bans and casual cannibalism he scored 69 goals in 110 Premier League appearances whilst at Anfield. If you consider he did this whilst playing up front with Andy Carroll it’s even more impressive!
In his time at Anfield he regularly destroyed opposition defences on his own… just ask Norwich City fans.
Matt Le Tissier – Southampton
A true one man club man playing for the Saints on 270 occasions in the Premier League scoring 100 goals and bagging 64 assists. Top flight teams would quiver in their boots visiting The Dell and finding Le Tissier up for the occasion. He had flare, silky skills, scored screamers and even carried a fancy name… all the ingredients for a great number 7.
His ended his career in true mic-drop fashion by scoring a last minute screamer to beat Arsenal in the last ever game at the legendary Dell.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United
Probably the greatest number 7 of all time but how good was Ronny in his time in the Premier League? Well in the early days he took a bit of a battering from Premier League defenders as he danced down the wing but as he bulked out he took the Premier League by storm.
In one season Cristiano Ronaldo scored a staggering 41 goals in English football which is a Manchester United record and formed a formidable partnership with Wayne Rooney. He won everything in his time at Manchester United and we all know what happened following his move to Real Madrid.
So, there you have it the 7 best number 7’s in Premier League history. Do you agree or is there someone missing?