Di Maria says he “didn’t give a f**k about the Man United number seven”

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s return to Manchester United has created an incredible level of debate and discussion – not least about which shirt number he will wear.

The Portuguese icon rose to the upper echelons of the game in his first spell at Old Trafford, wearing the number seven shirt made famous by many United legends.

Eric Cantona, David Beckham, George Best. All three achieved huge success wearing the number.

Then, in the summer of 2003, it was passed on to Ronaldo. Having sold Beckham earlier in the window, the famous shirt was given to the 18-year-old winger who had signed from Sporting Lisbon.

The number has stayed with Ronaldo throughout his career. He kept it during his spells at Juventus and Real Madrid, and incorporated number seven into his brand image.

United want to give him the iconic number as he returns to Old Trafford for the second time, but must seek special dispensation as the number has already been registered to Edinson Cavani.

Whilst the famous number has provided great memories for many United players that have adorned it, not all players share such positive views about wearing it.

Angel di Maria signed for the club in the summer of 2015, and immediately took the number seven shirt.

His United career got off to an incredible start – not least when he scored a superb long-distance chip against Leicester.

But di Maria would only last one season in Manchester after struggling to reproduce his early form.

Di Maria on number seven

He has called the number seven “just a shirt” – and blamed his boss at United, Louis van Gaal, for his form during the season.

Speaking to Libero, he said: “I didn’t give a f**k about the Manchester United No 7, at first they talked to me a lot about it… it was just a shirt.

“My problem at Manchester was the coach. Van Gaal was the worst of my career.

“I would score, assist, and the next day he would show me my misplaced passes.

“He displaced me from one day to the other, he didn’t like players being more than him.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty