Ronaldo’s decision to wear the number 7 shirt holds a significant story behind it, one that reflects his career trajectory, personal goals, and the impact he has had on the footballing world.
The association between Ronaldo and the number 7 shirt began during his time at Manchester United, where he inherited the iconic jersey from another legendary player, David Beckham. When Ronaldo joined United in 2003, he initially wore the number 28 shirt. However, in the 2007/2008 season, after the departure of Beckham, he made the pivotal choice to switch to number 7, a decision that would shape his career and establish his own legacy.
Wearing the number 7 shirt at Manchester United carried immense significance. Legends like George Best, Eric Cantona, and Beckham had previously donned this number, leaving behind a rich history for Ronaldo to uphold. By embracing this responsibility, Ronaldo aimed to show his determination to become a true United great and prove his worth alongside the club’s illustrious past.
Ronaldo’s decision to wear the number 7 shirt was more than just a symbolic gesture. It marked a turning point in his own development as a player. The Portuguese forward had burst onto the scene with his mesmerizing skills, incredible speed, and a keen eye for goal. However, he often faced criticism for his showboating style of play and lack of end product. By taking on the number 7 shirt, Ronaldo made a statement of intent, a promise to himself and the fans that he would evolve into a complete player, one capable of delivering consistent results and winning titles.
The move to number 7 proved transformative for Ronaldo’s career. In the 2007/2008 season, he had a remarkable campaign, scoring 42 goals and leading Manchester United to a Premier League title, as well as the UEFA Champions League trophy. Ronaldo’s performances were nothing short of exceptional, and he became the first Manchester United player to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award since George Best in 1968. The number 7 shirt seemingly brought out the best in Ronaldo, propelling him to new heights and cementing his reputation as one of the world’s finest footballers.
After six successful seasons at Manchester United, Ronaldo made a high-profile move to Real Madrid in 2009. Once again, he donned the number 7 shirt, inheriting it from Real Madrid legend Raul, who had previously worn the iconic jersey for over a decade. The number 7 at Real Madrid carries its own weight, with legends like Juanito and Emilio Butragueño leaving an indelible mark while wearing it.
Ronaldo’s choice to wear the number 7 shirt at Real Madrid showcased his ambition and desire to continue his upward trajectory. He aimed to fill the void left by Raul, who had been an icon at the club. Ronaldo went on to have an incredible career at Real Madrid, breaking numerous records and winning several titles, including four Champions League trophies. His stint at the Spanish capital firmly established him as one of the greatest players of all time.
In 2018, Ronaldo transferred to Juventus, yet again choosing to wear the number 7 shirt. This time, he inherited it from Juan Cuadrado, who willingly gave up the number as a sign of respect for Ronaldo’s legacy. The number 7 at Juventus holds great historical value, having been previously worn by legends such as Omar Sivori and Alessandro Del Piero. Ronaldo’s decision to wear the number 7 at Juventus represents his determination to continue making history and leave an indelible mark on the club.
Overall, Ronaldo’s decision to don the number 7 shirt has been a defining aspect of his career. It symbolizes his desire to follow in the footsteps of footballing greats, his commitment to personal growth, and his relentless pursuit of success. The number 7 shirt has become synonymous with Ronaldo’s name, forever etching his legacy in the annals of football history.