Dimitar Berbatov has revealed that footballers do fight over shirt numbers as Cristiano Ronaldo prepares once again to wear his iconic No.7 jersey for Manchester United.
The Portuguese star will don his trademark digit on the back of a red shirt for the first time since 2009 when United host Newcastle at Old Trafford this weekend.
His dramatic return has shaken up the Premier League – and caused problems for the Red Devils kitman, with Ronaldo taking the No.7 shirt off of team-mate Edinson Cavani, who will now wear the No.21.
Ronaldo, who also goes by the nickname CR7, is inextricably linked with the famous number, having worn it during successful spells at United, Real Madrid and Juventus.
Ex-striker Berbatov – a team-mate of the superstar at Old Trafford in the 2008-09 season – believes wearing the right number can have an affect out on the pitch.
Questioned whether players really care about the digit on their back, Betfair Ambassador Berbatov said: "Are you superstitious? The same goes for football players.
"The number plays a big, big role in a football player’s life. In the case of Ronaldo, he is very attached to No.7.
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"That number brought him great success over the last 12 years.
"Even if he wasn’t No.7 he would be the same player because the number doesn’t play, but sometimes we are like this as football players.
"You want that specific number. I always wanted No.9 when I was playing, especially at Tottenham.
"And I would also wear No.10 when I was playing Champions League football. It is important.
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"It looks silly sometimes. Players can fight over numbers. One says: ‘I want that number’ and the other says: ‘no it is already mine I am not giving it up to you’. You fight.
"But for some players it really matters."
United fans will be hoping the No.7 shirt can make Ronaldo's second Old Trafford debut a successful one when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side host Newcastle this weekend.
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