Why Did Ronaldo Wear Number 8 at the Start of His Career?
Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest football players of all time, is renowned for his immense talent, skill, and goal-scoring abilities. Over the course of his career, Ronaldo has worn several different jersey numbers, including the iconic number 7, which has become synonymous with him. However, at the beginning of his professional journey, Ronaldo actually sported the number 8 on his back. So, what led to this choice and why did he later switch to number 7? Let’s delve into the fascinating story behind Ronaldo’s early jersey number.
When Ronaldo began his professional career at Sporting Lisbon in 2002, he was assigned the number 28. The number was significant to Ronaldo as it represented the day his son, Cristiano Jr., was born – the 28th of February. However, his time at Sporting Lisbon was short-lived, as his exceptional performances quickly caught the attention of bigger clubs, leading to his transfer to Manchester United in 2003.
Upon Ronaldo’s arrival at Manchester United, he was initially handed the number 28, consistent with his previous club. However, after arriving in England, he approached Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary manager of Manchester United at the time, requesting a change in his jersey number. Ronaldo’s desire to switch numbers stemmed from his childhood idolization of two legendary footballers – Luis Figo, who wore number 7 for Portugal, and David Beckham, who donned the number 7 jersey for Manchester United.
At the time, Manchester United’s number 7 shirt held a significant status, having been worn by illustrious players such as George Best, Eric Cantona, and Beckham. Despite the weight of expectation associated with it, Ronaldo expressed his admiration for the number and the motivation it would give him. Ferguson, recognizing Ronaldo’s potential, granted his wish and handed him the coveted number 7 shirt.
However, before Ronaldo could sport number 7 on his back, he had to wait for it to become available. The number 7 jersey was then held by another United player, Uruguayan striker Diego Forlán. Consequently, Ronaldo had to temporarily settle for the number 8. He wore number 8 during the 2003-2004 season, during which he showed glimpses of his immense talent, providing a glimpse of the greatness that was to come.
Finally, at the start of the 2004-2005 season, Forlán departed Manchester United, leaving the number 7 shirt vacant. Ronaldo swiftly claimed it as his own, donning the iconic number and forever etching his name in the history of the sport.
Wearing the number 7 jersey at Manchester United propelled Ronaldo’s career to new heights. It became synonymous with his incredible performances, numerous individual accolades, and his integral role in helping the club achieve domestic and international success. He continued to wear number 7 during his subsequent stints at Real Madrid, where he reached the pinnacle of his career, and later at his current club, Juventus.
In conclusion, Ronaldo initially wore the number 8 at the start of his career due to a combination of his admiration for Figo and Beckham, and the availability of the number 7 jersey. However, his wish to wear number 7 was eventually fulfilled, and it became a symbol of his unparalleled skill and success in the world of football. Ronaldo’s journey from number 8 to number 7 is a testament to his ambition, determination, and relentless pursuit of greatness.