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Ronaldo: I was petrified of Beckham's No.7 shirt

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that he was "petrified" of taking on the No.7 shirt when he arrived at Manchester United and originally wanted to choose a different number until Sir Alex Ferguson intervened.

The Portugal international, who is in Zurich to learn if he has won a third straight Ballon d'Or title, moved to Old Trafford from Sporting in 2003 before going on to become the world's most expensive player.

But over a decade ago, the then teenager was reluctant to take on the shirt number previously worn by David Beckham and had asked to retain his old Sporting number - but was challenged to make the iconic jersey his own by Ferguson.

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Asked if there was a particular reason for wearing the No.7 shirt, Ronaldo explained: "At the beginning of my career in Manchester, yes. I remember when I signed for Manchester I arrived at the club and I asked for 28, because it was the number I used at Sporting.

"But the coach said to me: 'No, you're not going to wear 28, you're going to use No.7.' And I was a little bit afraid, petrified, because, you know, I knew that Beckham used that shirt.

"But I said OK, I accept the challenge, and since then it's been my lucky number. Because everything I have won in football, it was with that shirt. It's my lucky number.

"Everything that I have is part of the number seven, so this is the story of the number seven in the beginning of my career and this number is the number that I love."