Cristiano Ronaldo: Why I was scared when I first joined Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo lifts the lid on how he ended up wearing the number seven shirt for Manchester United

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta in Zurich

Cristiano Ronaldo admitted that he was “a little bit scared” when Sir Alex Ferguson told him that he would be wearing Manchester United’s number seven shirt.

The Portugal international joined the Red Devils from Sporting Lisbon in a £12.24m deal in 2003 and initially told the club that he would like to wear number 28 for the Premier League outfit.

However, Ferguson was quick to assign the number seven shirt to Ronaldo, and despite feeling some nerves at having been handed the iconic number – previously been worn by David Beckham – the forward was pleased to take it.

“I remember when I signed for Manchester United I asked to have the number 28 shirt but the coach [Sir Alex Ferguson] said to me: ‘No, you’re going to wear number seven’,” said Ronaldo, speaking at a news conference in Zurich ahead of the Ballon d’Or gala.

“I was a little bit scared because Beckham used that shirt. But OK, I set the challenge and since then it’s been my lucky number.

“Everything that I have is part of number seven. This is the number that I love.”

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Ronaldo went on to score 84 Premier League goals in 196 games for the Red Devils before securing a world-record £80m transfer to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. Last season, he surpassed Raul’s record to become the Spanish club’s all-time top goal-scorer.

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