Having originally cut his teeth and forged his game and reputation under the watchful eye of Sir Alex Ferguson between 2003-09, Ronaldo returns a globally recognised brand, the most popular social media celebrity alive with over 550 million followers across various platforms.
The cult of numbers may be meaningless to some but the number seven component of Ronaldo’s brand CR7 carries huge significance to its owner and has very pivotal historical relevance.
The number seven jersey at Manchester United has a rich history of almost mythical status that has been worn by some of the club’s most iconographic and iconoclastic players.
George Best was the first to imbue legend on the shirt, partly due to his reputation as a genius maverick of a player, partly because he wore the shirt when United won their first European Cup against Benfica in 1968. Either way, it set off a trend of great players adorning the jersey.
Not long after Best came ‘Captain Marvel’ Bryan Robson who wore the shirt with distinction for 13 years between 1981-1994 before handing it over to arguably the club’s biggest icon of recent years: Eric Cantona.
‘The King’ as he is still affectionately known re-wrote the script and helped propel the club to unprecedented heights during a five year spell at the inception of the Premier League.
Next came ‘Goldenballs’ himself, David Beckham. Legends in sport don’t get much bigger and Beckham’s status speaks for itself.
It was after Beckham departed for Real Madrid in 2003 that Ronaldo adopted the shirt and created his own legend amongst a list of giants in the game.
Despite the number seven already allocated to Edinson Cavani, the Uruguyan handed the jersey back to his new teammate when it was confirmed the Portuguese was rejoining.
The are millions around the world who await with baited breath to see what history and legend Ronaldo writes next now he and his favourite number are once again reunited at United. It starts tomorrow (Sept 11) against Newcastle United (kick-off 9pm Phuket time).
All fixtures (kick-off Phuket time)
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur (6:30pm)
Arsenal vs Norwich City (9pm)
Brentford vs Brighton & Hove Albion (9pm)
Leicester City vs Manchester City (9pm)
Manchester United vs Newcastle United (9pm)
Southampton vs West Ham United (9pm)
Watford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (9pm)
Chelsea vs Aston Villa (11:30pm)
Leeds United vs Liverpool (10:30pm)
Everton vs Burnley (2am)
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