Did Ronaldo steal the number 7 shirt from a teammate? Did the player have to retire?
Ronaldo is Al-Nassr’s new number 7, but who did he take the number from?
Ronaldo’s mystery has been solved, he has signed for Al-Nassr and will play in the Saudi Arabian league for the next two years. The ex-Manchester United man will no doubt be on a huge wage and attract a lot of interest from across the globe to the league, and he will do so wearing the number 7 shirt, as you may have expected.
But who gave it to him? And what happened to the player that did? Did he have to retire like the rumours suggest?
Who had the number 7 before Ronaldo?
The shirt belonged to Jallolidin Masharipov, Al-Nassr’s left-winger. He is from Uzbekistan and joined the side in January 2021. The forward played 30 times for the club last season and managed 4 goals and 6 assists: one imagines Ronaldo may usurp him in the side and get his name on the scoresheet more than that.
What has happened to him after Ronaldo’s signing?
Masharipov this season, however, has not put up the same numbers as the last. He has, in 2022/23, only featured once, playing just 58 minutes in a 1-4 away win against Al-Raed. He played not in the number 7 shirt but the 77 instead. No, the rumours are not true about him being sacked, he remains at the club.
The Portuguese forward is Real Madrid’s all-time top goalscorer, having won 2 LaLiga titles, 4 Champions Leagues, 2 Copas del Rey, 2 Supercopas, 3 UEFA Supercups, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, and was crowned Ballon d’Or winner 4 times at the Spanish club.
His signing for Al-Nassr is a chance for Ronaldo to meet up with Lyon boss Rudi Garcia and Cameroon forward Vincent Aboubakar, as well ex-Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, who are among the squad. The Saudi League may be a far cry from the UEFA Champions League success of times gone by, but it is a new challenge and one that he forward will be looking forward to.