Manchester United confirm Cristiano Ronaldo return
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The Premier League has caused confusion by appearing to list Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United squad number before it has been officially confirmed by the Red Devils.
United confirmed on Friday that they had agreed a deal for the sensational return of the legendary forward.
It completely a remarkable 24 hours, which started with Ronaldo appearing close to joining rivals Manchester City.
The 36-year-old has completely a comeback to Old Trafford after deciding to leave Juventus, who endured a difficult campaign last term.
Ronaldo’s move comes 12 years after he departed the club to join Real Madrid in a world-record transfer.
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Attention has since turned to whether Ronaldo would be able to wear his famous No 7 shirt on his return. The number is currently occupied by Edinson Cavani.
And the Premier League has prompted confusion by listing Ronaldo’s squad number as seven.
According to the league’s own rules, the Portugal icon would not be allowed to take the digit unless Cavani is sold. United could also seek special dispensation for a change but there is no precedent for that being granted.
Ronaldo instead has several numbers available to choose from. No 12 and No 19 are the only numbers below 20 that are both unoccupied.
The forward could also take No 24 or No 28. Ronaldo initially wanted to take the latter number when he first signed for the club in 2003.
He had worn No 28 at Sporting Lisbon and requested the number when he arrived at Old Trafford. Facundo Pellistri’s loan to Alaves means that No 28 is now free.
However, Ronaldo recently recalled being ‘petrified’ when Sir Alex Ferguson told him he would be wearing No 7.
“When I arrived at United, I asked for 28 but the coach said, ‘No, you will wear seven,’” Ronaldo said at a promotional event.
“I was petrified as I knew [David] 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.”
Ronaldo went on to join a long list of club legends who had previously worn No 7 at United.
He won three Premier League titles and scored in their Champions League triumph over Chelsea in 2008.
A move to Real followed where he initially wore No 9 for a season before switching to No 7.
Ronaldo then wore seven during his three years at Juventus.
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