Manchester United confirm Cristiano Ronaldo return
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Manchester United received special dispensation on Thursday to remove Edinson Cavani from the sacred No 7 shirt in order to accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo. And the move has already paid dividends, with sales through the roof for the much-coveted jersey.
Ronaldo took the famous No 7 shirt when David Beckham left for Real Madrid in 2003 – the same year Ronaldo joined United – and went on to cement his legendary status at United while wearing it.
He won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League later before he departed for Madrid in a blockbuster £80million move in 2009, breaking the hearts of United fans who adored his every touch.
Twelve years away from British soil followed – with Ronaldo winning four Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles and four of his five Ballon d’Or awards with Los Blancos, in turn securing himself as an all-time superstar before moving to Italy.
A continued spell of dominance occurred there, but after failing to win the Champions League in Turin, Ronaldo decided the best course of action was to move back to Old Trafford.
And after the Portuguese star moved to United on Tuesday’s transfer deadline day, fans were seen queuing up for hours outside the megastore at the Theatre of Dreams on Friday morning.
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The heralded return of their former hero has been met with intense media speculation, especially given the swap to his famous No 7 shirt.
And shirt demand is at a high; with Ronaldo’s shirt becoming the fifth-most expensive No 7 shirt of all-time at £500, according to Casumo.
He is marginally behind Beckham’s No 7 that he wore before Ronaldo, and Celtic’s love-in with their self-proclaimed ‘King of Kings’ Henrik Larsson, who rake in prices of £525 and £595 respectively.
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Luis Figo is the second-most expensive at £750, yet the cost of the top spot is astronomical – yet entirely understandable.
United icon George Best tops the list, as the original man to make the No 7 a famed jersey – taking a fee of £1,600 to own his shirt.
Still, it takes nothing away from the fact that Google interest in United shirts have increased by 488 per cent which is also likely to have led to a sharp rise in shirt sales – an astronomical fee when you consider how much United make from shirt sales regularly.
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It was imperative that United gave Ronaldo his number, despite Edinson Cavani wearing it in the league against Wolves on Sunday.
As a brand, Ronaldo is arguably the most marketable footballer in the world – and his continuance with the No 7 shirt will likely benefit United massively in the long run.
Fans will hope to see the Portuguese star on his return when United play Newcastle United on September 11.
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