At Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo eyeing his lucky 7 – release

The Portuguese superstar, who played nearly 300 games between 2003 and 2009 with the club from the north of England, could recover his historic number. Which gives off a mythical aura on the side of Old Trafford.

Will CR7 find its lucky number? After the surprise of his transfer to Manchester United in the face and beard of rival City, this is the question that holds in suspense the fans of the Red Devils and lovers of all kinds of myths that football produces. Cristiano Ronaldo, whose transfer has just been formalized, had worn this number throughout his first six years with the Mancunian club, between 2003 and 2009. Thus extending the legend of this jersey worn by the finest triggers of the club , since George Best in the 60s and 70s. Ballon d’Or in 1968, the one nicknamed the fifth Beatles started the legend by becoming, with the number 7 on the back, one of the best players of the History – Pelé has said that Best is the most successful footballer he has seen play.

The Northern Irishman thus erases in Manchester the 10, or even the 9, numbers assigned to the greatest (at least to the most technical) and it becomes customary, for the most gifted players of United, to be offered the 7. Bryan Robson, legendary club captain in 461 games in thirteen years, Andrei Kanchelskis, supercharged winger, one of the very best Soviets in the twilight of the USSR, Eric Cantona, in the Hall of Fame of the Premier League, the Golden Boy David Beckham: all played with the fetish number flocked on the back. A matter of ego, of tradition, of marketing.

A number that has lost its superb

When Cristiano Ronaldo arrived in the north of England at the age of 18, in 2003, with an uncertain status of prodigy but the approval of Sir Alex Ferguson, it was therefore the vacant 7th of Beckham that he was entrusted with. With, he scored 118 goals in 292 matches and won the first of his five Ballons d’Or, a Champions League, three English league titles, an FA Cup and two League cups, before leaving for Real Madrid. (2009-2018). Since the end of (the first) CR7 era at United, the number has largely lost its splendor, passing to Mickaël Owen at the end of his career, then any Antonio Valencia, the disappointments of Di Maria, Depay or Sanchez.

In order for the Portuguese to reclaim the number, which would likely be a big hit for shirt sales, United would have to make a trade with Edinson Cavani, who currently wears the tunic – the Uruguayan then picking up the 21 from Daniel James, in leaving for Leeds. In the press release published by the club, the Portuguese superstar, who signed for two years plus an optional year – his former club Juventus recovering nearly 23 million euros in the process – underlines the “Special place” of Manchester United in its “heart” : “I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since Friday’s announcement. I can’t wait to play again at Old Trafford, in a full stadium, and see the fans again. ”

“The three faces of football” (1/3)

“Ronaldo’s return shows that this club has a unique power of attraction, I am delighted to see him return to where it all began”, Norwegian Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who played with Ronaldo on his first stint, responded. Ronaldo’s first game of return in the Mancunian jersey is expected to be the day Newcastle receive the Premier League on September 11 after the international break. With the number 7 on your shoulders?

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