Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to wear shirt 7 in his return to Manchester United? The correct answer to this question is: it depends. It can be “yes”. And it can be “no”. In reality, the Portuguese ace may have two different numbers this season, one for Premier League and the other national competitions, and another for the Champions League.
The current owner of the number 7 shirt in the English team is the 34-year-old Uruguayan Cavani. In a live, former United defender and idol Rio Ferdinand even declared that the former PSG forward would be willing to give the number to Ronaldo. However, the decision is not that simple. At least for the moment.
Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Manchester United, the team he was voted best in the world for — Photo: Getty Images
Although he was out of the first two rounds of the English Championship, Cavani was enrolled in the league with the shirt 7. And the competition regulations provide that any change will only be made if approved by the entity’s Council.
– Before the start of each season, each club must assign a different jersey number to each member of its main squad. Likewise, a club must assign a jersey number to any player who joins its senior team during the season. While staying at the club, the player will keep his shirt number for the entire season for which he has been allocated. After a player leaves a club, the jersey number assigned to him can be reassigned – says the Premier League regulations.
The only precedent for something like that came only in 2011/12, when Chelsea signed Spaniard Juan Mata. At the time, the Israeli Benayoun was wearing the number 10 shirt and was enrolled in the Premier League, but he was negotiating with Arsenal and shortly after was loaned.
Cavani is Manchester United’s current No. 7 and has been entered with the Premier League number — Photo: Reuters
Ronaldo should only be CR7 at Manchester United for the 2021/22 Premier League if Cavani leaves the club, something that is unlikely.
Nonetheless, nothing prevents the Portuguese from being entered in the Champions League with shirt 7 and have two different numbers this season, as well as your Uruguayan companion. There are precedents such as Armenian Mkhitaryan, who was United’s 7th jersey in the 2017/18 English and 77th jersey in the Europa League that season.
In his career, Cristiano Ronaldo was jersey 28 at Sporting, used the 17 in the Portuguese team at the beginning and then took over the 7. When he arrived at Real Madrid, in 2009, he was jersey 9 in the first season. The 7th was from the idol Raúl, who left the club the following year.
At 36, Cristiano returns to Manchester United after 12 years. In his first spell, he scored 118 goals in 292 games and won nine titles, including three editions of the Premier League and a Champions League.