Why Did Ronaldo Wear Number 9? (Quick Read) (2024)

For the vast majority of his professional soccer career, Cristiano Ronaldo has been associated with the number 7 jersey number.

However, there have been a few points in the Portuguese star’s career where he’s had to wear another shirt number instead.

If you think back to the time when Ronaldo played for Sporting Lisbon as a teenager, he donned the number 28 jersey.

And it made perfect sense!

Ronaldo clearly hadn’t yet established himself as a world class player even though the potential to become one was clearly evident.

However, once Ronaldo moved to Manchester United in 2003 for 12 million pounds, he was immediately handed the number 7 jersey.

That became his shirt number for a couple of legendary seasons, and after he had finished dominating teams in the English Premier League, the player set his sights on conquering Spain’s La Liga.

Now, this is where things get interesting.

Cristiano Ronaldo transferred to Real Madrid as the club’s record signing at the time, and he was presented as the direct successor to Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima – who wore the coveted number 9 jersey.

Ronaldo had to wear this number 9 jersey because his preferred number 7 jersey was already being worn by Raul Gonzalez, who was the captain of the team. Real Madrid couldn’t just ask their talisman to hand over his jersey to Ronaldo, as the former was set to play his last season at the club and it would be considered very disrespectful to a person widely regarded as a club legend.

Table Of Contents

  1. Why did Ronaldo wear 9 at Real Madrid?
  2. Who was number 7 before Ronaldo at Real Madrid?
  3. Why did Ronaldo change his number?
  4. When did Ronaldo change from number 9 to number 7?
  5. Final thoughts

Why did Ronaldo wear 9 at Real Madrid?

The number 7 jersey has become a major part of Cristiano Ronaldo’s brand.

A lot of fans even refer to Ronaldo as CR7, which shows just how strongly associated this squad number is with the player himself.

But funnily enough, Ronaldo never had an intense love for the number 7 jersey as he started out at Sporting Lisbon with the number 28.

When Manchester United came to Lisbon to play a pre-season friendly match against the Portuguese side, Ronaldo performed so well that Sir Alex Ferguson became very keen to sign him.

Sporting Lisbon won that fixture by three goals, and former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre recalls the Portuguese teenager having the intent to put on a show:

“It was an incredible performance to watch that night. This kid nobody knew tore us apart for the whole game. No one could get near him; he was amazing. At the start, no one had even heard of Ronaldo, but by the end, everyone knew about him.”

Source – Bleacher Report

His scintillating performance in that friendly game earned him a move to one of the biggest clubs in England – Manchester United.

Once he arrived there, Ronaldo requested the number 28 jersey that he wore at Sporting Lisbon, but Sir Alex Ferguson explained to Ronaldo that he wanted him to put on the iconic number 7 that had been worn by club legends such as:

  • George Best;
  • Eric Cantona; and
  • David Beckham

Sir Alex was really convinced that Ronaldo would grow to become the world’s best player sooner rather than later, which is why he made that request.

Fast forward a few years later to the time he joined Real Madrid in 2009, and Ronaldo was arguably the most talented soccer player in the profession, along with a young Lionel Messi.

However, he couldn’t continue wearing the number 7 which he had firmly established a connection with, as another legend of the game called Raul Gonzalez was already assigned with this particular squad number.

Why Did Ronaldo Wear Number 9? (Quick Read) (1)

Raul was Real Madrid’s top goal scorer in UEFA competition and as the captain of the club he pulled rank over Ronaldo who was just a new signing back then.

Ronaldo couldn’t simply swap jerseys with Raul as that would be considered disrespectful to the club legend, and such an action could have created disharmony in the dressing room if the number swap actually came to pass.

So, Ronaldo settled for the number 9 jersey previously worn by Ronaldo Nazario (i.e. the Brazilian Ronaldo), until Raul left Real Madrid for Schalke 04 in the following campaign.

Who was number 7 before Ronaldo at Real Madrid?

As we’ve already explained, the player who wore the number 7 before Ronaldo at Real Madrid was Raul Gonzalez Blanco.

The image below shows his squad number history:

Why Did Ronaldo Wear Number 9? (Quick Read) (2)

You can clearly see that Raul started wearing the number 7 jersey for Real Madrid in the 1994/1995 season, and he stays with that number all the way until he left the club.

Why did Ronaldo change his number?

Ronaldo obviously changed his number once Raul left the club because he had already built a strong connection with the 7.

Not only did he consider his personal connection to the number, as he also weighed up the benefit for his brand if he kept wearing the number 7 shirt throughout his career.

It simply made good business sense to make the number 7 jersey his own.

When did Ronaldo change from number 9 to number 7?

Cristiano Ronaldo changed from the number 9 jersey to the number 7 jersey on the 3rd of August 2010.

The then 25-year-old made the switch after the previous owner of the jersey – Raul Gonzalez – had left the club for German side Schalke 04.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it!

That’s the full back story as to why Ronaldo initially wore the number 9 jersey at his former club Real Madrid.

If you’ve enjoyed this read, then you’re likely to love some of our other Ronaldo-related content like:

  • Why Ronaldo likes to say siu when he scores;
  • What age Ronaldo started playing soccer;
  • Cristiano Ronaldo “factos” meme explanation;
  • Whether Ronaldo can dunk a basketball;
  • Whether Ronaldo has tattoos on his body; and
  • Why Ronaldo has many followers on social media
Why Did Ronaldo Wear Number 9? (Quick Read) (3)

If you enjoy the content that I create and would like to buy me a coffee,then I’d really appreciate it!

Any money that I earn through this donation will be re-invested into more content for this website.

Additionally, by sending in a donation you’ll also receive a copy of my recently released 190+ page eBook on Soccer Ball Care, as well as be subscribed to our mailing list where you’ll be regularly informed on the latest developments concerning the Soccer Whizz blog.

  • Author
  • Recent Posts

Samuel Waihenya

CEO & Digital Publisher at Cosy Content Limited

Samuel Waihenya is 27 years of age and has been watching, discussing, as well as playing soccer for well over 10 years.

With a solid educational background in business management, the Soccer Whizz website is his first foray into the digital web space and it has been created with the intention of providing the absolute best soccer content for its readership.

Have a read through Samuel Waihenya's author bio page here.

Latest posts by Samuel Waihenya (see all)

  • Future Icons: Europe’s Emerging Midfield Maestros Set for Glory - December 4, 2023
  • Kickstarting a Revolution: How Soccer Transformed the United States Over the Last Four Years - October 7, 2023
  • 4-1-4-1 Soccer Formation [Analysis] - September 23, 2023
Why Did Ronaldo Wear Number 9? (Quick Read) (2024)


Why did Ronaldo wear 9? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo arrived in Madrid in 2009 and had to settle for the #9 shirt. Club legend and captain, Raul Gonzalez was wearing the #7 shirt, and Cristiano had to inherit it from him after he'd left the club for Schalke 04 in Germany.

Why did Ronaldo take 7? ›

By wearing seven, Ronaldo was to follow in the footsteps of some of the greats who have graced the turf of Old Trafford. Before his arrival in Manchester, David Beckham, George Best and Eric Cantona are just some of the legends to have worn the number previously for the Red Devils.

Why did Ronaldo 9 cut his hair? ›

Legendary former Brazil striker Ronaldo has revealed that his infamous haircut for the 2002 World Cup was actually a tactical plan to take the pressure off him. Ronaldo had seen his 1998 World Cup ruined by the pressure that built on him, leading to him suffering a seizure on the day of the final.

Was Ronaldo number 17? ›

Ronaldo's senior international debut came in August 2003 against Kazakhstan, coming on for Luis Figo as a half-time substitute. The then 18-year-old wore the No. 17 jersey at the time, with Figo, already a Portuguese legend, occupying the No. 7.

Did Ronaldo 9 retire? ›

Was Ronaldo number 7? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo has become synonymous with the iconic No. 7 shirt, wearing the number in his first stint at Manchester United and continuing the tradition during his time at Real Madrid and Juventus.

Was Ronaldo number 10? ›

TC on X: "Throwback to when Cristiano Ronaldo used to wear number 10 at Manchester United training.

Who is Ronaldo's number? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo jersey number: The reason behind the number 7 jersey. Cristiano Ronaldo started with the number 28 at his childhood club and only after his transfer to Manchester United he was handed the famous number seven by the then manager sir Alex Ferguson.

Is Ronaldo better than Messi? ›

Who is better Messi Or Ronaldo? Ronaldo has scored a record number of international goals and appearances, but Messi has won more Ballon d'Or awards (8). Messi has spent most of his playing career in Spain and France, while Ronaldo has played in Portugal, England, Spain, and Italy.

What does Ronaldo eat? ›

The 38-year-old eats a rich protein diet, with lots of wholegrain carbs, fruit and vegetables, as well as lean proteins like fish, chicken, and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados. He abstains from artificially sugary foods, red meat, alcohol, or any aerated drinks.

Did Ronaldo invent the Siu? ›

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo had previously revealed that he had not put any thought behind the celebration and was invented in the spur of the moment during a pre-season match against Chelsea in the United States. "I started to say 'si', it's like 'yes', when I was in Real Madrid.

Is it siu or sim Ronaldo? ›

As he hits the ground, Ronaldo outstretches his arms and bellows 'Siuuu', which is Spanish for 'yes', with fans often joining in to create a booming noise around the stadium.

Why did Ronaldo go from 9 to 7? ›

Moreover, the number 7 jersey was worn by Raul, another club legend. The club couldn't simply ask their top scorer in UEFA competition to handover his jersey to Ronaldo. That was Raul's last season at Real Madrid. After his departure his jersey number was given to Ronaldo and he again became CR7.

Did Ronaldo wear jersey number 9 in Real Madrid? ›

However, when he moved to Real Madrid in 2009, he wore No. 9 until the No. 7 shirt was vacated by the legendary Raul who left to play for Schalke in 2010. He would go on to succeed Raul in every sense during his nine-year spell in Madrid, surpassing the Blancos hero to become the club's leading goalscorer of all time.

Did Ronaldo ever wear number 10? ›

Throwback to when Cristiano Ronaldo used to wear number 10 at Manchester United training.

Did Ronaldo ever wear 11? ›

9. Ronaldo he wore 11 in Rao's final game, so that's enough to scrape onto my list.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jerrold Considine

Last Updated:

Views: 5960

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jerrold Considine

Birthday: 1993-11-03

Address: Suite 447 3463 Marybelle Circles, New Marlin, AL 20765

Phone: +5816749283868

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Air sports, Sand art, Electronics, LARPing, Baseball, Book restoration, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Jerrold Considine, I am a combative, cheerful, encouraging, happy, enthusiastic, funny, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.