Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus in 2018 brought immense excitement to fans of the Italian club. The Portuguese forward, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, had previously achieved enormous success with clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid. As Ronaldo donned the iconic Number 7 jersey at Juventus, he inevitably left an indelible mark on the club’s history. However, with his recent departure from Juventus to rejoin Manchester United, the question arises: who will step into the shoes of the great Ronaldo and carry on the legacy of the Number 7?
Before Cristiano Ronaldo, there were several players who wore the Number 7 jersey at Juventus and left their own lasting impressions on the club. One such player was Angelo Di Livio, who wore the number during the 1997-1998 season. Di Livio was known for his tireless work rate and versatility, often playing as a winger or central midfielder. While he may not have possessed the flashy goal-scoring ability associated with Ronaldo, he was an important figure in Juventus’ midfield during his time at the club.
Following Di Livio, the Number 7 jersey was passed on to Gianluca Pessotto for the 1998-1999 season. Pessotto was a loyal servant to Juventus, spending over a decade at the club as a defender. Though not known for his attacking prowess, Pessotto’s defensive solidity and leadership qualities endeared him to fans and made him an integral part of Juventus’ success during the early 2000s.
The next player to wear the Number 7 jersey was the mercurial Brazilian winger, Marcelo Zalayeta. Joining Juventus in 2000, Zalayeta quickly became a fan favorite with his skillful dribbling and ability to score crucial goals. Although he was never a regular starter for the club, Zalayeta’s impact off the bench was undeniable, earning him a place in the hearts of Juventus supporters.
Following Zalayeta, the Number 7 jersey was worn by two notable players, Hasan Salihamidzic and Simone Pepe. Salihamidzic, a Bosnian midfielder, joined Juventus in 2007 and spent seven seasons at the club. Known for his work rate and versatility, Salihamidzic was often deployed as a right midfielder or right back and was a dependable presence on the pitch. Simone Pepe, an Italian winger, joined Juventus in 2010 and played a crucial role in the club’s Serie A dominance during the early 2010s. Known for his pace and ability to deliver accurate crosses, Pepe added an attacking threat down the flanks for Juventus.
And then came Cristiano Ronaldo. His arrival in 2018 brought unprecedented excitement to Juventus fans, as they knew they were witnessing the presence of a true footballing legend. Ronaldo’s impact was immediate, as he scored 101 goals in 133 appearances for the club, helping Juventus secure multiple Serie A titles during his tenure. His incredible goal-scoring ability, athleticism, and leadership made him an iconic figure at the club.
With Ronaldo’s departure, Juventus now faces the challenge of finding a suitable successor to the Number 7 jersey. While it may be impossible to replicate Ronaldo’s achievements and impact, the next player to don the Number 7 jersey has an opportunity to carve out their own place in Juventus’ history. The club has a rich tradition of talented players, and it will be fascinating to see who steps up to the challenge.
As Juventus moves forward, the fans eagerly await the announcement of the next player to inherit the Number 7 jersey. Whoever it may be, they will carry the weight of the past legends who wore the shirt, including Ronaldo. The Number 7 at Juventus represents a legacy of excellence, and the succession will undoubtedly be a story worth following in the coming seasons.