David Beckham explains how he coped with the pressure of wearing No 7 at Manchester United

In the history of United, the No.7 shirt holds a lot of weight having previously been worn by the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo. Another player to become synonymous with the shirt&aposs history is Beckham.

After initially starting with the No.10 shirt, Beckham was handed the No.7 at the beginning of the 1997/98 campaign following the arrival of Teddy Sheringham from Tottenham Hotspur. However, reflecting on this occasion with Classic Football Shirts, Beckham admitted he was initially not impressed with leaving behind the No.10.

He explained: “It was amazing wearing the No.10 shirt because one of the players I always looked up to was Mark Hughes so for me to wear No.10 was very special. I remember being on holiday in Malta and my phone ringing and we had just signed Teddy Sheringham.

“I just went: &aposHi,&apos and he said: &aposIt&aposs the boss,&apos and obviously this was something different. He said: &aposWe are signing Teddy Sheringham, we are taking the No.10.&apos I was like: &aposNo boss, I had a great season in this No.10,&apos he just said it doesn&apost matter and that he would see me in a few weeks.

“That was it, the No.10 was taken off of me in one of the best seasons I had ever had. But then I arrived back to training and the boss says: &aposBy the way, you have got No.7.&apos”

“No, not really,” Beckham added when asked if he felt the weight of expectation with the shirt number. “It didn&apost even enter my head [the pressure], I just thought wearing the No.7 shirt of Cantona, Bryan Robson, George Best, it was never a pressure I just felt happy to wear the No.7.”