Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson pushed him to wear the No.7 shirt when he joined Manchester United.
The Portugal international arrived at Old Trafford as an 18-year-old having previously worn the No 28 shirt at Sporting Lisbon.
But Fergie immediately saw enough in Ronaldo to want him to take up the shirt that had previously been worn by the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.
‘I remember when I left Lisbon for England, Alex Ferguson said to me “listen, I want you to take the No.7”,’ Ronaldo recalled.
‘I was surprised because I knew the guys who wore that shirt. I accepted the challenge, it was great.
Ronaldo would enjoy six hugely successful years at Manchester United before leaving in an £80million deal to Real Madrid. He lifted the Champions League and three Premier League titles among other trophies during that time.
‘It was the beginning of my success in football. It was probably one of the most beautiful moments in my career so far,’ he said at the launch of a new range of boots in tribute to his spell at Old Trafford.
‘Alex Ferguson was a father for me in football. And I learned many things, not just from the coach but the players.’
He continued: ‘I improved not just my skills but my body too.
‘In the five years that I was (at United) I learned the art of football, it was a dream for me.