Friday, 28 June 2013

Lucky Number 7

The great number 7 jersey of Manchester United Football Club, worn by some of the greatest footballers in the world throughout the decades and has never failed to deliver whenever they are on field. I believed there were older player who wore number 7 jersey and played outstandingly but was not recognised. Back then, our forefathers were mainly focused and enjoyed pure madness of football. In a modern world like today, with all the current technology and social network everyone wants to get a piece of everything from literally everywhere. It is really convenient nowadays. Football players get connected with fans much easier and most of them actually share their personal daily life of activity with everyone who choose to follow them. Most sports athletes today are introduce into the world glamorously, to the extend of becoming celebrity. Some even are as popular as a movie star. So long as the players are comfortable, no one else should really matter.

Number 7 jersey, all began during the years of the late legend George Best. Born in the year 1946, the Northern Irish winger played most of his professional career in Manchester United during 1963 to 1974 before scattering himself into numerous clubs. Some were comparing him to the current evergreen Ryan Giggs. He must really be that good. However I was not born during his era of football with Manchester United therefore I would not dare to write much about him but one thing for sure he is in the list of the legends.

The number 7 jersey was then passed to Bryan Robson. Yet another sad story, I was only 3 years old when he played for The Red Devils. He was already in his ripe aged when I first witnessed him in a United shirt. Soon after he was transferred to Middlesbrough to become player-manager for about 3 seasons.

The legacy continued and left a huge boot for the next one to fit in. It was none other than Eric Cantona. This fellow needs no introduction when he was on the field. Big flamboyant French definitely proudly wore his shirt and ruled the field like he owns it. He shocked the world when he retired at an early age, leaving with a statement that he wanted to leave the game while his name was at the top. Sad for United fans but after some time I think he really made a wise choice.

Leaving under the shadows of Eric Cantona was young David Beckham. Beckham was wearing number 28 then. He worked his rank up and became United's very own grown prodigy. I can't explain why he was sold to Real Madrid. He had a bust up with Ferguson for some ridiculous personal reasons which I thought Ferguson shouldn't be too involved in. Well that was history, now both of them have retired.

Then came Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Clube de Portugal which is also known as Sporting Lisbon, signed for £12m pounds. In no time, he shone very brightly in the field with dazzling feet. His immediate impact soon made his manager played him often. One defender after another, he split open them. Suddenly all the direct free kicks were assigned to him. His rocket speed free kicks almost tore the goal net and often kept goalkeeper rooted to the ground. He was loved by Sir Alex Ferguson with his manager saying Ronaldo was of a son figure to him. Even before signing for United, it had always been his dream to play for Real Madrid. Real Madrid signed Ronaldo for a record breaking fee of £80m. After the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo were sorely missed by his Manchester United fans but not too long after United came back with a bang and overcame his absence.

The latest player to wear the famous number 7 shirt is Antonia Valencia. He was given the honour after his brilliant display in season 2011/12. Complete winger with old fashion style of play running through the defence with no flair but he was really good. Sir Alex often made him a right back whenever Rafael's injured and he made a great replacement. However in 2012/13 season, his lacklustre performance has made fans wonder if he deserve to wear the number 7 jersey.

In my opinion, shouldn't a jersey just be a jersey? Numbers on jersey should not be treated as a superstition beliefs. Some players chose their beloved preferred numbers on the back of their jersey probably because it signifies certain important memories to them. Most importantly for all football players, managers and fans, the quality of each and every players capability to produce is the main factor rather than the numbers on their back of jersey matters!