THE CONFIDENCE OF SIR ALEX: The story of how Cristiano Ronaldo started using Manchester United’s number 7 when he was just 18 years old

When Cristiano Ronaldo He was signed by Manchester United for the first time when he was just 18 years old. And as a newly arrived teenager, he took on the responsibility of wearing the number 7, a legendary club number that, incidentally, had just been worn by a certain David Beckham.

The decision of the digit was not Cris’s. Sir Alex Ferguson, in an unprecedented vote of confidence, asked the Portuguese winger to use it. The Scottish coach saw something special in the current 5 Ballon d’Or winner, and considered that making him feel important from day 1 would be differential.

He was not wrong.


“When I left Lisbon for England, Sir Alex Ferguson told me that he wanted me to wear number 7. He was surprised because he knew the players who had worn that jersey. But I accepted the challenge. It was a very good thing. I felt that I had more responsibility ”, Cris said, in a spot of Nike which was published in 2017.

CR7 had asked for 28: “After signing with Manchester United they asked me what number I preferred. I said 28, which was the number I had at Sporting, but Ferguson told me: ‘No, you will use number 7.’ It was something that motivated me even more ”.

In 2013, when Sir Alex received the Diamond Award As sports personality of the year, Cristiano dedicated these words to him to his soccer father: “I remember when he got there at the club, I asked for number 28, and you gave me number 7. You put a lot of pressure on me, but you told me that it wouldn’t be a problem and that I deserved to wear that jersey because I was a fantastic player. You taught me how to be a good professional, a good boy. You are a fantastic man. You’re the number 1″.


Although the first two seasons were somewhat turbulent (in terms of Cristiano’s development), SAF always believed that the Funchal-born would become world class. Look at what he said a few months ago to Gary Neville in dialogue to LADbible: “I always believed it (that it would be TOP). His match against us in the preseason, with Sporting. John O’Shea had to play as a right back, and (Cristiano) was amazing. I was 17, almost 18, and it was kind of amazing. We had everything ready to bring him to the club, but it was going to be next year (2004). But then he went up to the first team and it was a sensation. And Real Madrid and Arsenal were pending. So, we had to move fast. Fortunately, we went to a small room after the game and arranged for him to fly back with us (…) The next day we got a private plane and brought him with his mother, brother, sister and lawyer, and he signed ”.

Undefeated data. Cristiano Ronaldo in his time as 7 of Manchester United: 118 goals, 53 assists, 10 titles and 292 games. Legend red devil.

Did you know…? Cristiano Ronaldo was recruited by Manchester United for just 19 million euros. It ended up being a historic bargain.

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