Cristiano Ronaldo will wear the number seven shirt for Manchester United after all, the Premier League club have confirmed.
Ronaldo recently sealed a dramatic return to Man Utd more than a decade after he left for Real Madrid. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner wanted a new challenge after three years with Juventus. At one point, it seemed the unthinkable was materialising, with Ronaldo close to Manchester City. But United could not let that happen.
Therefore, they swooped to secure an emotional return for one of the greatest players in the history of the game. It will be an immediate boost for everyone at Old Trafford.
But there have been doubts over whether Ronaldo would be able to wear his preferred shirt number. There is a digit that the man known as “CR7” is synonymous with.
However, Edinson Cavani began the season with the number seven on his back for Man Utd. Therefore, they had to ask the Premier League for special permission to change their numbers.
Such requests have rarely been accepted, but in this case, United have been able to give Ronaldo the seven.
It is the same number he wore between 2003 and 2009 in his previous spell with the club. He was also assigned it for his entire time with Juventus and all but the first season of his nine-year spell with Real Madrid.
He has also held the seven shirt for Portugal throughout most of his international career.
It is a famous jersey for Man Utd, where it has also been worn by the likes of David Beckham, Eric Cantona and George Best.
Some of its recent occupants have not reached those heights, but Ronaldo can certainly live up to the responsibility and pressure of the number.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐒𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 🔥
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 2, 2021
He said: “I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the No 7 shirt again, so I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi [Cavani] for this incredible gesture.”
New Cavani number confirmed
Cavani, meanwhile, will switch to the number 21 shirt, which is the same jersey he wears for Uruguay.
The 21 jersey was recently vacated by Daniel James, who left for Leeds United. Other previous occupants of it included Ander Herrera and Diego Forlan. Another Uruguayan, Cavani, will now inherit it.
The striker is in the second year of his stay in Manchester after committing for another season in the summer.
There had been doubts over whether he would remain in English football at the end of last season, but he pledged his future to United. Questions were asked again following the addition of Ronaldo, but they will be teammates after all.