Some jersey numbers are special to a lot of clubs for different reasons and the player/players who wore them could be the ones who defined an era. In some other cases, it is a line of succession and a number only those who are sure to attain legendary status can wear.
The number seven is one of the most iconic squad numbers around. So many great talents have created an unforgettable legacy wearing this number and in this article, we’ll take a look at football players with the number 7 on their shirts.
Football players who wear number 7
We start this list of players who wear number 7 off with Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante. Born in Paris, he was a largely unknown midfielder who burst onto the scene in the 2015/2016 season with Leicester City, where he played a crucial role at the heart of the midfield in Claudio Ranieri’s title-winning team that shocked the entire world.
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The following season, Kante left Leicester and signed for Chelsea for £32m and was given the number seven jersey by then manager Antonio Conte and he hasn’t looked back since.
Kante was once again crucial in his first season at his new club, with Chelsea winning the Premier League title; his second in as many seasons for two different clubs.
Now in his seventh season at the club, the 31-year-old has played under four managers in that time, playing a crucial role in each of their teams. He has won nearly everything there is to win as a player and is invaluable to what the club has done in the last seven seasons. His man of the match performance in the 2021 Champions League final is the most recent example.
Two League titles, an FA Cup, a UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FIFA Club World Cup and two FIFPro World Eleven selections later and Kante is still as hungry and as humble as ever, looking to continue to cement his legacy as one of the best players to ever play in his positions and to wear the number seven jersey.
He might not wear the number seven anymore but Raheem Sterling became one of the greatest players in the Premier League era with that number on his back. Sterling wore number 7 at Man City.
A fresh faced teenager from Kingston Jamaica, first made his presence felt in the English Premier League for Liverpool where he helped the Reds punch above their weight in the 2013/14 season. They finished second to Manchester City in a title race that went all the way to the final weeks of the season. Two seasons later, he joined Manchester City, sealing a then club record fee of £49m to the club.
In the seven years he spent being City’s number seven, Sterling scored 131 goals and provided 95 assists in 339 appearances for the Citizens as he helped them win four Premier League titles, five Carabao Cups, one FA Cup and a Community Shield.
His 109 goals and 79 assists after playing 323 games in the Premier League ranks him at 26th all time for goals and 12th all time for assists. He is only 27 and may well reach the top 10 in both categories before his career is over.
Sterling left Manchester City over the summer and now plays for Chelsea but there is no doubt he did the number proud while he wore it in Manchester.
Probably the most famous footballer to wear number 7 on his shirt – a player who left a legacy on and off the pitch and redefined what it meant to be a footballer. We’re sure everyone has heard the phrase “bend it like Beckham ” at least once in their life.
David Beckham retired as one of the all time great freekick takers in football and one of the greatest players that England ever produced.
Born in Whipps Cross University Hospital (you could not make this up) in Leytonstone, England, Beckham got his football education in the Manchester United academy and was part of the famous Class of 92.
He was given the number seven jersey in 1997 while at Manchester United and wore the shirt for six out of his eleven seasons at Old Trafford. He then moved to Real Madrid for four seasons, becoming part of the Galacticos before joining LA Galaxy. He had loan spells with AC Milan in between his time with the American club before retiring after the 2012/2013 season with Paris Saint-Germain.
He scored 127 goals and provided 213 assists in 718 games across five teams in 20 seasons.
He had a career that saw him become the first English player to win a League title in four different countries with six Premier League titles, one La Liga, one Ligue 1 and two MLS Cups in his trophy cabinet. He is also a UEFA Champions League winner, two time FA Cup winner, two time Charity Shield winner, Super Coppa de Espana winner and a two time supporters shield winner.
Frank Ribery currently plays for Salernitana in Italy but his prime years were spent tormenting fullbacks in a Bayern Munich jersey with the number seven on his back.
Ribery was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France and started his career at Boulogne, playing there for two seasons before moving on. He spent much of his young career moving clubs with spells in Ales, Brest, Metz, Galatasaray and Marseille before making the biggest move of his career to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2007.
Ribery spent 12 seasons at Bayern Munich. In that time, he played 425 games, with 124 goals scored and 182 assists provided, winning 23 honors in Germany.
He won nine Bundesliga titles, six DFB Pokal, four DFL Super Cups, one DFB Liga Pokal, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. He was also named UEFA player of the year in 2013 and was selected in the FIFPro world eleven in the same year.
Alongside Beckham, Mbappe has the chance to become THE most famous footballer to wear number 7. The Paris born, Paris Saint-Germain striker first came into limelight with AS Monaco in the 16/17 season. In his breakout year, he scored 26 goals in 43 games and helped Monaco win the League title before moving to PSG for €180m aged just 19.
In his PSG career so far, he has played 219 games, scored 175 goals and provided 88 assists in all competitions. At 23, Mbappe is already one of the greatest French players of all time.
He has won five Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe De France, two Coupe De La Ligue and two Trophée Des Champions at club level. He has been selected in the FIFPro World 11 twice and was named Golden Boy in 2017. He has been the top scorer in Ligue 1 for four seasons running.
Mbappe still has so much of his career ahead of him, with the possibility of him becoming the greatest player to ever wear the number seven still on the cards.
Ukraine’s greatest ever player makes this list as one of the best ever footballers to wear the number seven. After dominating in his home country of Ukraine, Schevchenko left Dynamo Kyiv and moved to AC Milan in 2001, where he became a household name and one of the world’s best strikers. In 2004, Schevchenko won the Ballon d’Or after leading his team to a Serie A title the season prior.
He moved to Chelsea in 2006, where he spent two seasons before going on loan to AC Milan in 2008 and ending his career where he started at Dynamo Kyiv in 2012.
The Ukrainian has won a Serie A title, one Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana , five Ukrainian Premier Leagues, three Ukrainian Cups, one UEFA Champions League, One UEFA Champions League, one FA Cup and a League Cup.
Luis Figo made his mark on football and will be remembered as one of the sport’s greatest ever wingers. Born in Almada, Portugal, Figo began his career at Sporting where he first wore the number 7 jersey. He went on to join Barcelona for the 1995/1996 season and it was at the Spanish club that he cemented his place as one of the best players on the planet, winning seven titles in his six seasons at the club.
He moved to Real Madrid at the turn of the century in a deal that caused a lot of controversy. It was in that same year, 2000, that Figo also won the Ballon d’Or award. He won another seven trophies in five seasons at the club.
He left Spain having won four La Liga titles, One UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, an Intercontinental Cup, two Copa Del Rey trophies and two Supercopa de España titles.
In the Summer of 2005, Figo moved to Italy to play for Inter Milan. In his final four seasons as a footballer, Figo won four straight Serie A titles between 2005 and 2009, one Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa Italiana trophies. Another seven titles.
In 646 official club games, Figo scored 113 goals and assisted 179 times.
He had a career truly befitting one of the greatest players to wear the seven on his back. Too bad he isn’t the greatest Portuguese to wear the number because the next player on the list is.
A man who needs no introduction, Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player on this list and arguably the greatest of all time. The Portuguese forward has accolades a mile high and is still going strong at the age of 37. Often referred to as “CR7”- Ronaldo has been the GOAT player who wears number 7.
The Madeira born forward began his career at Sporting before signing for Manchester United in 2002 where he was immediately given the number seven jersey. Such was Sir Alex Ferguson’s belief in his potential that he gave him an iconic Jersey number worn by Eric Cantona, George Best and most recently, David Beckham.
He spent six seasons at Manchester United where he won every title he could in England before the age of 25 and before leaving for a world record fee to Real Madrid in 2009. By then, he was already a Ballon d’Or winner and regarded by many as the best player in the world.
Nine years at Real Madrid (eight of those wearing the number seven) saw him surpass the legacy of Raul, the man who he inherited the shirt number seven from, and became Real Madrid’s all time top scorer in all competitions. He scored an incredible 450 goals in 438 games for Los Blancos. He also became the UEFA Champions League’s highest goal scorer.
He left Madrid in 2018 for Italian giants Juventus where he scored 134 goals in 101 games, before making a triumphant return to Manchester United.
Ronaldo is a five time Ballon d’Or winner, Two time FIFA Men’s best player and four time European Golden Shoe winner. He has also won three Premier League titles, two La Liga titles, two Serie A titles, five UEFA Champions League trophies, three UEFA Super Cups, four FIFA Club World Cups, one FA Cup, two League Cups, two Copa Del Reys and One Coppa Italia title.
He is by far and away the most decorated player on this list and at 37, he is still hungry for more success at the highest level.