There have been many great players who have played for Manchester United. But there is no shirt number more iconic than that of number 7. So what I would like to do here is assess who the greatest player to have worn that shirt is. I believe there are five contenders.

George Best

The first one of any real quality to wear number seven was George Best. The Northern Irishman played 470 games for United and it was Best who many considered to be the one who started "the tradition of superstars" wearing 7 at the club, as stated on the World Soccer website.

Best was a real revelation. His skills and trickery set him apart from all others. His greatest moment came in the 1968 European Cup final as his goal helped United to win the trophy for the first time in their history.

Bryan Robson

Referred to as 'captain marvel', Bryan Robson was at the heart of Manchester United's midfield from 1981-1994. He galvanised the team and as stated on the Stretford-end website, his "determination, courage and will to win" separated him from the rest. Robson is different in some ways that for the majority of his career at United, they were not overly successful. It was only when he was reaching the end of his career that he won the league (1993, 1994). Despite this, his hard work, engine and professionalism made him what he was.

Eric Cantona

The King as he is referred to. He came from Leeds United in 1992 and led the team to four league titles before his retirement in 1997 as stated on the Transfer Market website. If there was ever a player that a team relied on for success, it was Eric Cantona. With his collar turned up and his chest pushed out, he was the ultimate leader and a fine scorer.

But it was not the type of goals that were key, but more the importance of his strikes. He scored winner after winner as United began to dominate English football. His presence was most keenly felt when he was suspended for eight months in 1995 for attacking a fan; United failed to win the league that year as a result. But he returned and arguably one of his best/important goals came in the 1996 FA Cup final against Liverpool.

David Beckham

Following the retirement of Cantona, Beckham assumed the number 7 mantelpiece in 1997 and was key in their success at the end and turn of the century. Who can forget the two corners taken that led to United winning the Champions League and the treble as a result? Although not blessed with great pace, Beckham was the greatest crosser and dead ball specialist that I think has ever graced the game. He wore the shirt with pride, scored important goals and was a key cog in the United team.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Possibly the greatest player of all time, Ronaldo lit up Old Trafford in his time at the club and from 2006-2009 led the team to three consecutive trophies and the Champions League in 2008.

Such was the impact that he made is that the team have never really replaced him since he left. His most impressive year was in 2008 as he scored thirty one league goals which not only fired United to the Premier/Champions League but was also named footballer of the year.

So who is best? Although they have all contributed immensely to the success that the team had, I have to go with Cantona. His aura, sheer drive and determination dragged United continually to success. Such is the impact that he had is shown by the fact that the fans still continue to sing his name.