Has Man Utd No 7 shirt been CURSED since Cristiano Ronaldo departure? | Football | Sport
An impressive list of illustrious names have all donned the famous No 7 at Old Trafford.
Names such as George Best, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona are still fondly remembered by United fans.
The Portugal star scored 84 goals in the Premier League over six seasons at Old Trafford.
It is now almost 10 years on from Ronaldo’s departure and five players have been tasked with wearing the iconic No 7 jersey.
But the quintet have failed to live up to expectations, netting just 14 league goals between them.
Following Ronaldo’s £80million switch to the Bernabeu, a world record fee at the time, Michael Owen was the next man in line.
The former Liverpool striker scored five times in the Premier League for United but revealed he wasn’t the first choice to succeed Ronaldo.
“[Antonio] Valencia had been offered the No 7 but he didn’t want it, so to speak. He didn’t want the added pressure,” Owen said last year.
“Sir Alex Ferguson called myself and Michael Carrick into his office. He says, ‘The No 7, Michael, I want you to wear it. I think you can handle the pressure and all that comes with it’.
“He then nods at Carrick and says, ‘If you don’t want it, Michael you can have it’. He looks at me and says, ‘Do you want it?’ ’Absolutely’, I replied.”
Valencia did take the number after Owen left but wore it for just two seasons before reverting back to his No 25.
He scored just one league goal during that time and revealed in 2013 why he gave up the shirt.
Valencia said: “It was more to do with the fact that 25 was the number I had when I first came to the club and I played well wearing that. So I thought ‘why don’t I go back to 25? I had good times and good fortune in that shirt.”
He added: “There is no negative reason as to why I changed. I don’t want people to think I wasn’t doing my job for the team because of any added pressure of wearing the No 7 shirt. I suppose I set the bar high in 2012, and then I had a niggling problem with my back, which didn’t allow me to train properly.
“There is no sign of that now. I feel great, and have been able to train to my maximum and put in 100 per cent. That has been paying dividends in games, and I feel my fortune has changed going back to the 25 shirt.”
Angel Di Maria was the next star to take over the mantle but he too struggled.
Lasting just one season at Old Trafford, he scored three times in the Premier League in 27 appearances.
Memphis Depay took over in 2015 but, after just two league goals, he was shipped off to Lyon in January 2017.
Sanchez, like his predecessors, has also failed to win over the United faithful, having scored just three times in the league since joining from Arsenal.
United have been heavily linked with England starlet Jadon Sancho, who wears the No 7 shirt for Borussia Dortmund.