More than any other team number, the number seven jersey has a special position in Real Madrid's history.
Some of the most adored and gifted players to ever don the renowned white kit have worn this iconic jersey.
Here are the seven greatest sevens in Real Madrid annals, in order of their impact.
Juanito was admired as a player more for his zeal and temper than for his football skills. But he had plenty of all three.
He joined Atlético Madrid as a youth player but never played for the senior team, which presumably didn't hurt his reputation among Real supporters in the Spanish capital. He was able to move to the Bernabéu after four outstanding years with Burgos as they earned promotion, as Real won the race for his coveted signature.
When he first arrived, Juanito cemented his reputation among Madrid supporters by remarking that "playing for Real Madrid is like touching the sky." "If I weren't a player, I'd be an ultra sur," he said before continuing. Juanito played more than 400 games during his more than ten years with the team, winning five La Liga championships, two Copas del Rey, and two UEFA Cups.
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Juanito tragically died in an automobile accident in 1992 at the age of 37. Even so, he continues to be honored every time the Bernabéu clock strikes seven minutes, a tribute to the attire number he frequently wore.
One player on the Reims team that Madrid had defeated in the 1956 inaugural European Cup final grabbed Santiago Bernabéu's attention: Raymond Kopa.
The Frenchman started the following season sharing a locker room with his defeated opponents, despite having lined up as a center-forward against Madrid for the championship game. During his three seasons in the city, Kopa, an exquisite inside forward, fit in with Madrid's front line and helped them win two La Liga championships and three more European Cups.
He helped Madrid win both the domestic and European championships that year, and he later assisted France in finishing third at the World Cup. After placing third in the previous two competitions, he took home the Ballon d'Or that year.
Even though Kopa was only at Madrid for three seasons, he played on a legendary team and was never one to let the other glitterati on the field eclipse him. "Raymond Kopa did magic, amazing things you didn't think possible," his teammate Juan Santisteban said.
Emilio Butragueo, a native Madrid socio who joined the team while serving his military duty, was a young, angelic boy with a fresh face and blond hair. Butragueo's deadly finishing in front of goal won him the moniker El Buitre, or the Vulture, in contrast to his soft-spoken and polite demeanour.
Butragueo had ten straight seasons with double digits between 1984 and 1994. He gave his name as El Buitre to La Quinta del Buitre, the Vulture Squad, Madrid's best team since Alfredo Di Stéfano had departed 20 years prior.
At the age of 20, Madrid was down 2-0 when he entered the game in 1984. Butragueo tallied two goals and assisted in the other by the time the game was over, making the score 3-2. He arrived to represent the Vulture Squad, which was centered on five La Fábrica graduates from Madrid.
This team won two UEFA Cups and five straight La Liga championships with their number 7 Butragueo at the heart of the assault, but the European Cup would always elude El Buitre.
Raul, a Madrid native, was originally a member of Atlético's youth squad before being snatched up by Los Blancos at the age of 15 in 1992. He eventually made it into the first squad two years later. He began and scored in the Madrid derby in just his second game for the team, and Los Blancos won 4-2.
In 1998, he helped the team achieve the Champions League, their first major European championship in 32 years, and in his first season, they won the first of their six La Liga championships.
The Spain international fought against every opponent with equal vigor during his tenure in the capital, and in 13 of his 16 seasons with Real, he made at least 40 appearances in all competitions.
He happily wore the number seven for 14 of those years before adding the captain's armband in 2003. Ral made a record 741 appearances for Los Blancos during his tenure there, and despite playing alongside galáticos who had cost the team countless millions of dollars, he never appeared out of place while wearing the fabled number 7.
Cristiano Ronaldo arriving in the Spanish capital for a record fee, only to be given the number nine shirt—not exactly in keeping with CR7—must have been a bitter pill to take for someone eager to build their own brand.
Fortunately, Ronaldo moved into his comfortable number seven in his second season after a certain icon (see below) retired. Regarding numbers, the sums the Portuguese star amassed while wearing Madrid's colors are genuinely astonishing.
44 hat-tricks, 450 goals in 438 games, and six seasons in a row where he scored at least 50 goals. It's safe to say that his performance on the field for Real Madrid as the team's number seven will guarantee his place among the all-time greats.