Manchester United have confirmed that Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo will wear the number seven shirt on his return to the club.
The 36-year-old completed a sensational move back to Manchester United on transfer deadline day, rejoining from Juventus on a two-year deal.
During his first six-season spell at Old Trafford, Ronaldo wore the number seven shirt.
It was a period during whichbhe helped Sir Alex Ferguson’s side secure the UEFA Champions League and three Premier League titles before moving on to Real Madrid in 2009.
Manchester United confirmed Edinson Cavani would now take up the number 21.
But there was no mention of whether special dispensation had been requested from the Premier League to process the switch following the start of the domestic campaign.
“Cristiano Ronaldo will wear number 7 for Manchester United again, like he did between 2003 and 2009. As we all know, the number 7 is a special number in the history of Manchester United,” the club said on www.manutd.com.
“It has previously been worn by club icons like George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Now, it returns to the man who succeeded Beckham in it, Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo inherits the number from Edinson Cavani, who wore the shirt last season and in our away win at Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.
“As our new signing is allocated number 7, El Matador will switch to number 21, the same number our prolific striker wears for the Uruguayan national team.”
On Wednesday night, Ronaldo broke the men’s international scoring record.
He grabbed a late double as Portugal came from behind to beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1 in a dramatic finish at the Estadio Algarve.
However, after removing his shirt in celebration during stoppage time, Ronaldo was cautioned.
Having been booked earlier in the World Cup qualifying campaign, the forward is suspended for Tuesday night’s trip to Azerbaijan.
As a result, Ronaldo has been released from the Portugal squad ahead of Saturday’s friendly against World Cup hosts Qatar in Hungary.
This is to enable him to be set for an early reunion back with Manchester United.(dpa/NAN)