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Which shirt number could Cristiano Ronaldo wear for Manchester United?

by Harry Henshaw

After sealing his return to Manchester United yesterday Cristiano Ronaldo has a big decision on his hands.

Having rejected bitter rivals Manchester City for the club that developed and nurtured him into one of the greatest footballers of all time, Ronaldo returns 12 years since he departed.

But it is unlikely he will wear his iconic number seven shirt as he embarks on his second spell with the club, as that number belongs to Edinson Cavani.

Upon arriving in 2003, the Portuguese international was given the number seven shirt following the departure of David Beckham.

A challenge the then 18-year-old wasn’t thrilled with:

“When I arrived at United, I asked for 28 but the coach said, No, you will wear seven.”

“I was petrified as I knew Beckham wore that shirt. But I took on the challenge and since then it has been my lucky number. I have won everything in football with that shirt.”

Over the next six years Ronaldo added himself to the list of greats to have worn the coveted shirt, alongside the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona and the aforementioned Beckham.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has only ever worn three shirt numbers in his club career, seven, nine and 28.

With seven and nine occupied by Cavani and Anthony Martial respectively, his return to Old Trafford could see him return to his first ever number in professional football, 28.

CR7 donned the number 28 during his one season with Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, a season where he netted five goals in 31 games while attracting the attention of every major club in the world.

Another option could be 77 for obvious reasons, with some other alternatives being 12, 15 or 24.

There is a chance Ronaldo could wear number seven for Champions League fixtures, as those numbers have not been finalised as of yet, but it remains to be seen how happy Cavani would feel about sharing the famed jersey.

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