It is universally acknowledged, that great footballers, usually have a particular shirt number associated with them. This is no sin – some say it helps in the proper identification, of a legacy.
Over the years, exceptional football talents have been accorded the respect of retaining their shirt numbers, even when they switch to a new Football Club. It was at one time rumoured that the Nigerian Legend, Jay Jay Okocha, once rejected joining Manchester United, because they were not going to give him his number “10” shirt. They already had a star wearing it, and he was of more value to them than Jay Jay.
So, it’s only natural for people to wonder about the case of Edison Cavani.
It’s no longer news that one of the greatest players in the history of football – if not the greatest – has made a return to his former club, Manchester United. The news of Cristiano Ronaldo taking most headlines is expected, and the most talked-about transfer in football transfer window.
Prior to his arrival, former PSG hitman – Cavani – was manning the frontline of Manchester United attack, having been signed by PSG the previous season. It’s no doubt that Edison Cavani has had his name written on the record book of the greatest attackers in football history. So, it was only normal to allow him to wear the number “7” shirt which Ronaldo is universally identified by.
Since Ronaldo left Man. United, nobody has had the courage to wear that shirt number – the two players who did were seen to have dented the image of number in Man. United, given their extremely low performance when compared to Ronaldo.
The world was shocked that Ronaldo while leaving Juventus after a three seasons stint, left other clubs that could give him better offers for Man. United. The excitement of football fans could not be contained when he conveyed these statements through his Instagram account:
“I can’t even start to explain my feelings right now, as I see my return to Old Trafford announced worldwide. It’s like a dream come true, after all the times that I went back to play against Man United, and even as an opponent, to have always felt such love and respect from the supporters in the stands. This is absolutely 100 per cent the stuff that dreams are made of.”
He signed off by giving a big nod to the manager who brought him to the club in 2003, Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Sir Alex, this one is for you” he wrote.
Ronaldo is simply known worldwide as ‘CR7’, for the striker has worn the number exclusively throughout his career. He wore the squad number at Sporting Lisbon, Man. United, Real Madrid and, most recently, Juventus. CR7 has become a trademark, and it’s the name for his chains of hotels and other businesses.
Most fans are of the opinion that Cavani should leave the shirt number for him if CR7 is to play for United. I am also of the opinion that he should.
“I will leave Manchester United, because of Ronaldo “a Cavani fan said, as the statement, we could be hearing from Cavani. In his campaign at Old Trafford, the Uruguayan international started well, and there are clubs also looking for his services.
Will Cavani voluntarily give Ronaldo the number ‘7’ shirt, or will he decide to leave Old Trafford like a fan said? This has been the question.
However; Premier League’s new rules state the Uruguayan striker must keep that number until the end of the campaign. So, in theory, Cavani cannot give up the number 7 shirt. Rule m.5 states a player will only be allowed to take another’s squad number if the player leaves the club.
Cavani is instrumental in the attacking system the United manager hopes to use, and the club doesn’t want to accept any offer from other clubs. Even if Cavani decides to give him the shirt number, it won’t be possible – Ronaldo will have to manage another shirt number for this season, because of Premier League’s rules.
The most important question on everyone’s lips, remains this: “Will he give up the number for Ronaldo next season?”
Time will tell.
Written by: Edward Amah