Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid 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.
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."