Who has worn the number 7 shirt for Man Utd?

Manchester United are one of the most successful and historic teams in England. The team’s number 7 shirt is one of the most famous in the world, with many footballing legends wearing that number 7 shirt. 

Who has worn the number 7 shirt for Man Utd? Manchester United legends like George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo, and David Beckham have all worn the Manchester Utd number 7 shirt. The Manchester Utd number 7 short is currently vacant since the mid-season departure of Christiano Ronaldo.

The list of players who have worn the number 7 shirt goes on for some time. Many Manchester United legends have worn the shirt in the team’s long history. There have been some incredible Manchester United players to wear the legendary shirt, so let us take a look at a few of them. 

Did Cristiano Ronaldo wear number 7 for Man Utd? 

Cristiano Ronaldo is probably the most famous player to have worn the number 7 for Manchester United. The Portuguese winger first joined the club in 2003 and he was given the number 7 shirt immediately after joining. It was a huge move by United at the time as Ronaldo took the shirt from the departing David Beckham who had left for Real Madrid the same summer. 

Replacing David Beckham is certainly never going to be an easy job, but Ronaldo certainly did that and even more. CR7 stayed in Manchester for six years and became one of the world’s best there. 

When he left for Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo had won the Premier League three times as well as the Champions League. He won the Ballon d’Or with United in 2008 as well as being named FIFA World Player of the Year. 

He returned to Manchester in 2021, having signed back from Juventus. Ronaldo was given the number 7 shirt from Edinson Cavani who had previously held the shirt. There’s no doubt that his second spell with the team did not go as well as the first. Ronaldo left the club in November 2022 having not won anything with the team in his second spell. 

Did David Beckham wear number 7 for Man Utd? 

David Beckham did wear number 7 in his time with Man Utd. Beckham joined the Manchester United youth team in 1991 having been recruited from Tottenham’s academy.

He progressed to the first team in 1992 and became an important part of the team over the next few years. 

But he was not immediately given the number 7 shirt. This is because Manchester United legend Eric Cantona held the number 7 shirt when Beckham was coming through the first team. He inherited the number 7 shirt for the 1997-98 season onwards. He held that shirt until leaving for Real Madrid in 2003.

During his time in the number 7 shirt, Beckham was a crucial part of the Manchester United team that won four Premier League titles and the Champions League in 1998-99. He was part of the team that won the treble for United in that 1998-99 season. 

Did Eric Cantona wear number 7 for Man Utd? 

Eric Cantona did wear number 7 for Manchester United during his time with the club. Cantona joined Manchester United from Leeds in 1992. When he joined the club he was seen as a senior figure and became a leader in the dressing room at a time when Manchester United were bringing through a lot of young talent. 

When Cantona joined Brian Robson moved to the number 12 shirt for the remainder of his Utd career.

Cantona played as the team’s number 7 for five of his six seasons with Manchester United, with the 1993/94 season being the only exception to that. Cantona had an incredibly successful time when he was wearing number 7 for Manchester United. 

He won four Premier League titles, with three of them coming while he was wearing the number 7 shirt. Cantona also won two FA Cups with Manchester United. But his influence on the team was really seen later down the line. In the number 7 shirt, Cantona helped to develop young players while still performing at an incredibly high level. 

Who wore the number 7 shirt for Man Utd after Cristiano Ronaldo? 

When Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009, they had a big job replacing him. One of those replacements was given the number seven shirt. The number seven shirt has a lot of history with Manchester United, but this player did not become a Manchester United legend. 

Michael Owen wore the number 7 for Manchester United after Cristiano Ronaldo. When Ronaldo left in July 2009, they brought Michael Owen in just two days later. Owen had a massive reputation coming to Manchester United considering his achievements with Liverpool. 

Owen wore that number 7 shirt for only three seasons and certainly did not live up to expectations. He scored just five goals in his 31 league appearances for United. However, he did win a Premier League title with the team in 2010-11 as well as winning the League Cup in the 2009-10 season. 

List of significant Manchester United Number 7’s

Utd Number 7YearsStatus
George Best1963 – 1974Legend Status
Un-assigned1974 – 1981Un-assigned
Bryan Robson1981 – 1992Legend Status
Eric Cantona1992 – 1997Assigned PL
David Beckham1997 – 2003Assigned PL
Christiano Ronaldo2003 – 2009Assigned PL
Michael Owen2009 – 2012Assigned PL
Antonio Valencia2012- 2013Assigned PL
Un-assigned2013 – 2014Un-assigned
Angel Di Maria2014-2015Assigned PL
Memphis Depay2015 – 2017Assigned PL
Alexis Sanchez2017 – 2019Assigned PL
Un-assigned2019 – 2020Un-assigned
Edinson Cavani2020 – 2021Assigned PL
Christiano Ronaldo2021 – 2022Assigned PL

Prior to the Premier League era shirt numbers were usually assigned 1-11 based on the starting line up. So several players would have worn each shirt during a season. The above list of all Man Utd number 7’s from George Best to Ronaldo (the second time) has assigned Best and Brian Robson “legend” status as they can be clearly identified as the clubs main number 7 during their playing time.

Following Cantona being officially assigned the number 7 shirt for the Premier League season, each listing is accurate to who had the shirt assigned for Premier League games.

Who wears number 7 for Manchester United right now? 

At the time of writing the number 7 shirt is not being used by any current Manchester United player. At the beginning of the 2022/23 season, the shirt was taken by Cristiano Ronaldo who was in his second stint with the team. Ronaldo had the number 7 shirt in his first stint with the team. 

But Ronaldo was released by United in November 2022 after an interview with Piers Morgan where he criticised the team, its ownership and the lack of investment into the team. The interview did not go down well with United’s leadership and he was released from the team during the 2022 FIFA World Cup

As Ronaldo was released by Manchester United, there is no player currently holding the number 7 shirt for the team. It seems likely that there will be a few candidates to wear the shirt for the team in the future. United have young wingers like Jadon Sancho, Anthony and Marcus Rashford who could all be the new number seven for Manchester United in the future. 

Who will be the next Manchester United number 7?

The best bets to take on the legendary number 7 shirt at old trafford are Brazilian winger Antony or English press breaker Jaden Sancho. Both play in wide positions and would have had a good shout of claiming the number 7 had Ronaldo not started the season at the club.

With Ten Haag needing to make improvements to the squad in the summer, it is highly likely that we see a brand new face wearing the number 7 shirt. Who that may be, is anyone’s guess.


Life long Portsmouth Fan and have followed football since 1993. Is there a better sport on earth?

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