Cristiano Ronaldo's No 7 shirt has smashed Man Utd sale records in under four hours; return of Portugal captain caused sensation in club store and on social media; Ronaldo expected to make second Old Trafford debut against Newcastle on Saturday
Monday 6 September 2021 14:55, UK
Cristiano Ronaldo broke Manchester United's daily shirt sale record in less than four hours after it was confirmed he would retain his iconic No 7 jersey.
The Portugal forward secured a long-awaited return to Old Trafford in August and is currently isolating ahead of his first visit to Carrington, expected to be on Thursday.
As United confirmed Ronaldo will wear No 7 on Thursday, fans dashed online to secure a replica and it only took four hours to smash the record as the highest daily sale on a single sports merchandise site outside North America.
Fanatics, United's official retail partner, confirmed the shirt sales hit record figures and the first hour alone bettered the best full day of global sales for the club's online store.
Across the Fanatics network, Ronaldo became the biggest-selling player in the 24 hours following a transfer to a new club - leading Lionel Messi (to PSG), Tom Brady (to Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and LeBron James (to LA Lakers).
It was not only on the internet that Ronaldo's newly-printed shirt was in demand - United's club store at Old Trafford was also a popular destination on Friday morning as fans queued to get their hands on the number.
On the Sky Sports website and apps, the three most-read articles in the month of August were about Ronaldo while on the Sky Sports Twitter feed, posts involving the Portuguese had a global reach of 1billion users.
On August 27, United went public with their agreement to sign Ronaldo on a deal with Juventus.
Since then, there have been 9,986 online articles published online in wake of the news, with 499.3 published words per minute and 37.25 Tweets per minute.
There were 1,269 tweets in the first 60 seconds (21 tweets per second) after the announcement, and 64,321 in the first hour alone. In all, there have been in excess of 360,574 posts to date, equivalent to 37.25 per minute.
A formal announcement came on at 10:15am on deadline day, with fans taking to social media to express their delight. That simple 'He's Back!' post clocked over 30,900 retweets and over 250,000 likes.
Manchester United host Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday September 11 (3pm kick-off).
You can follow the game with our live blog on the Sky Sports website and app - and get details of Solskjaer's starting line-up as soon as the teams are announced at 2pm.
You won't need to wait long to see the match highlights - we will bring them to you for free from 5.15pm on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as on our Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.
And we will serve up the best stats, analysis and reaction after the game.