Then you have the individuality of someone like Eric Cantona…
Yes, Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Beckham, they really were all one-off players and it’s the word individual that most accurately describes them. They’ve certainly made that shirt even more iconic here.
Does the history of the shirt and the number of legendary players who have worn it bring extra pressure?
To be honest, you could say it does because those guys have all sweated, bled and earned so much respect for the shirt so that the moment comes when you are on the field and you say to yourself: 'Wow, I’ve got the seven on my back and I have to deliver and I have to make it even bigger.'
Which no.7 has had the most impact at Manchester United?
It’s a tough one when you consider the players we are talking about, people like Beckham, Cantona, and a few others. But I think that the player who has made the biggest mark in this shirt would be Cristiano Ronaldo, both for the trophies he won and the goals he scored.
What about George Best?
Of course. Even growing up in Ecuador I was aware of Best’s place amongst the great players – I only wish he had played a few years later and I could have seen more of him.
Did Sir Alex say anything to you about the significance of the shirt before it was announced that you'd be wearing it?
No, not at all. The manager just asked if I would like to wear it and I said yes, of course. It was no problem at all.
When did you first wear the no.7 shirt?
In South Africa, on the pre-season tour.
Do you think you’ve brought your own style of play to the no. 7 shirt?
Not so far, but I