The iconic number 7 jersey has been given to Manchester united returning legend, 5-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo after his surprising move from Juventus to Old Trafford.
Lots of questions were raised about his move and down to the jersey he’d wear for United because the number was not vacant. It had been given to Uruguay international, Edinson Cavani.
The number 7 jersey at Manchester United has been worn by the club legends like George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, and the Portuguese international himself, Cristiano Ronaldo who will once again be playing for Red Devils.
It’s the same number he wore for the larger part of his Real Madrid career and his three-year stint at Juventus but his exit from the Old Ladies was a bit unceremonious judging by how he departed his former employer without proper goodbyes.
The Portuguese Maestro famously donned the same number seven during his first six years at the club and the Old Trafford hierarchy have reiterated that he will be wearing it again.
Cavani started the season with the iconic number but due to the new transition and presence of one of the most decorated athletes of the game, they had to reach a compromise. A special dispensation from the Premier League was given to Manchester United to make the jersey switch.
This cannot be better understood without further clarification. Section M of the league’s rulebook dictates that “a player will retain his shirt number throughout the season for which it was allocated”.
However, due to Daniel James’ departure to Leeds United on deadline day, the jersey he wore was vacant, number 21 shirt, which will now be worn by the Uruguayan, the same number that he wears for his country during national duty.
Ronaldo was asked about the switch and how he felt when his trademark number “CR7” was surrendered to him. He said, “I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the number seven shirt again,” I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi for this incredible gesture”.
From the business point of view, it makes a lot of sense. A large section of the Man United fan base are accustomed to that trademark and it’d be weird to see Ronaldo in another number apart from the number 7 he has been known for over the years.
Manchester United’s megastore has been getting lots of buyers. In fact, they’ve sold out the “Ronaldo 7” jersey replica in some sizes, and fans in their droves are queueing outside Old Trafford for the football attire
Apart from Cristiano who had once succeeded with the shirt, the shirt has proved to be too weighty for those who have tried it after Ronaldo as they did not live up to its fame.
Memphis Depay was able to score only two Premier League goals for the Red Devils as he struggled to match expectations during his short stint in England.
Alexis Sanchez signed for Manchester United from Arsenal in 2018 with Armenian international, Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading in the other direction. However, the Chilean was unable to make his imprint with the jersey.
It’s left to be seen if CR7 would be blazing again with the same jersey number he once donned during his first six years at Old Trafford.