Today’s sports stars are defined in a lot of ways by the number on the back of their jersey. Having a certain number on the back of a jersey helps sell jerseys, and they can be great ways to identify with fans.
The number seven in soccer is one of the most special numbers in the game right now. How did it get to be so special in the first place?
What has evolved in the last few years has made the #7 jersey one of the first claimed for teams at all levels. It has more to do with the popularity of the number than its true history, but they are intertwined in many ways.
What The #7 Means Traditionally In Soccer
When numbers started to appear in soccer, players who would get the #7 jersey were central midfielders or right-wingers. They received a #7 kit based on the formation of 11 players on the field at a time. This was their position away from the goalkeeper, who traditionally wore #1.
Since, by default, these players would receive #7, it instantly became a number synonymous with creativity, goal-scoring, and more. These are usually one of the most skilled players overall on the pitch, and those players tend to get the most attention.
They have the opportunity to score many goals, control a lot of different aspects of the match, and earn a lot of money on and off the pitch.
Who Are The Most Famous #7 Players Ever?
The two players who come to mind with the #7 are Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham. These just happen to be two of the most recognizable soccer stars in the game’s history. They have millions and millions of fans all around the world, and players of all ages have tried to emulate what they do on the pitch.
Ronaldo, in particular, is so glued to his number that it became part of his branding. The CR7 has traveled with him at the club and international level. When he recently re-joined Manchester United, he was once again handed his familiar number. Fans were pretty excited to see this happen, since they could once again wear those jerseys they loved in the past.
Other players with #7 on their backs at some point include Luis Figo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Raul Gonzalez, Franck Ribery, Luis Suarez, and Raul.
Is The Number Seven Lucky?
People with all different backgrounds have numbers that they feel are particularly lucky. The #7 is definitely one of those options that is high up there on the list. In certain cultures, it’s deemed luckier than others, but it is one of those universally liked numbers.
Every single athlete has a number or two that they are very favorable to. Maybe they grew up wearing the jersey on other teams, or it has some type of significance to their family. Whatever the case is, the #7 is usually high on that list, which is why it is always in high demand.
Can a Number #7 Jersey Give a Player Confidence?
When Cristiano Ronaldo first moved to Manchester United, many people were eager to see what number he would be wearing. Sir Alex Ferguson decided to give the new star player the #7 jersey, and that was seen as a way to give Ronaldo confidence.
The #7 jersey is very famous with Manchester United, as players such as Eric Cantona and Beckham wore it before. All he ended up doing with that number is turning it into his own, and most people remember him as the defining player with that jersey.
Teams are indeed well aware of what the most famous numbers can actually do for a player. If a youngster has a lot of potential, they will not be afraid to give them the #7 jersey. This is supposed to be a confidence booster, but there have been times where players have not exactly been able to live up to those expectations.
Maybe there’s too much pressure put on them because of the jersey, and people are starting to wonder if it was actually the right move.
Do Some Players Wear The #7 Jersey For Other Reasons?
Some players are inspired by wearing a certain number for other reasons beyond soccer. Maybe they are fans of another sport, and they like a player so much that they want to wear the same number.
It can also be a number that is very significant to the player because of friends or family. Everyone has their own story, and oftentimes, it is shared with the media to make them more relatable.
With a number like 7, there are even times when it is in such high demand that there will be a bit of a bidding war for it. That’s especially true if a star player comes over to a new squad and wants to wear that jersey. Maybe they make a deal with the player who currently has the number, or they come up with some other sort of agreement.
It might not seem like the biggest deal to some people out there, but for others, it is part of their identity. One example is looking at a player’s social media profile. They might incorporate a number, and they don’t want that to go away because they move to another team.
Other Positions Wearing Number Seven Jerseys
There’s a lot more flexibility with soccer jerseys these days, and that’s why there will be people wearing #7 jerseys and not playing a wing or second striker position.
This might frustrate some traditionalists, but it is part of the way soccer has changed in general. Many people nowadays grew up watching famous players wear #7, and even if they don’t play the same position, they want to emulate them as much as possible.
Referees calling matches don’t seem to care about the numbers being different, as it was more of an identifier so that fans could watch from far away. Since most people are well aware of the players on the pitch, and teams usually put names on the back of jerseys, it’s not nearly as tough to follow along.
The Future of #7 In Soccer
Look for the #7 in soccer to be popular for a very long time. It’s one of those aesthetically pleasing numbers that a lot of players like for different reasons, and that will always put it in high demand.
Whether it’s for branding, emulating a former star, or just looking good, that number is here to stay for the time being.