Cristano Ronaldo has become synonymous with the iconic No.7 shirt, first wearing the number in his Manchester United days and continuing the tradition during his time at Real Madrid and, now, Juventus.
The Portuguese superstar – also known as CR7 – has turned his name and digit into an international brand, and it’s hard to remember that he was ever associated with another number.
The 33-year-old even took up the number when he arrived at Juventus despite it being occupied by Juan Cuadrado, and has been wearing the shirt for both club and country for years.
But why does Ronaldo wear the No.7, and for how long has he been wearing it? Goal takes a look.
Why does Ronaldo wear No.7?
Ronaldo has long been associated with the number 7, which has also helped him create the global brand of ‘CR7’.
Though the Portuguese striker has become synonymous with the number, it wasn’t his favoured shirt of choice until he arrived at Manchester United.
He wore the No.28 during his time at Sporting and it was only when he signed for the Red Devils in 2004, when then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him to take the iconic shirt due to his belief that Ronaldo would be able to reach the same heights as those who had previously worn the number, that a new era was opened.
The striker arrived at Old Trafford asking to wear his favoured choice of 28, but Ferguson talked him into taking the seven jersey that was worn by such greats as David Beckham, George Best and Eric Cantona.
Sure enough, Ronaldo set the Premier League on fire, ravaging opposition defences, and it was in England where he won his first Ballon d’Or award in 2008 after scoring 42 goals in a single season.
When he moved to Real Madrid in 2009, he wore No.9 until the No.7 shirt was vacated by the legendary Raul who left to play for Schalke.
Since then, Ronaldo’s No.7 shirt has become iconic, and the striker even took the number from Juan Cuadrado following his switch to Juventus earlier on in the summer. Cuadrado now wears No.16.
He has also worn the No.7 shirt on Portugal national team duty, first wearing the No.17 when playing alongside the legendary Figo in the 2004 European Championships.
After Figo retired, however, Ronaldo once again claimed the talismanic No.7.
Football aside, the number 7 has long been associated with luck and fortune.