Ronaldo - An honour to wear Figo's number

MANCHESTER UNITED'S newest star Cristiano Ronaldo says he is fulfilling a life-long ambition by wearing the number seven shirt - because it is the number made famous by his hero Luis Figo.

The Portuguese starlet took over the number vacated by England captain David Beckham who left to link up with Figo at Real Madrid in the summer, but the former Sporting Lisbon star says it holds special significance more through his compatriot rather than through Red Devils of the past.

Preparing for Wednesday night's international friendly against Kazakhstan, Ronaldo said: "I know the number seven shirt has a great tradition at United and anyone would be proud to wear it.

"For me, though, it is extra special because it is also Luis Figo's number.

"When I was growing up in Portugal, Figo wore the seven of Sporting Lisbon.

"Like any kid with dreams of being a footballer, I wanted to be Figo. I wanted to wear the number seven.

"Everyone has been telling me about George Best, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona, and it does fill me with pride to be following in their footsteps.

"But there is more to it than people in England may realise.

"My close friend Quaresma wears seven at Barcelona, and I have been handed the same number at United.

"We can both now say we have made a boyhood dream come true."

In other news, Old Trafford chief executive Peter Kenyon has warned Premiership rivals that Sir Alex Ferguson's all conquering reign could be extended as he revealed the Scot is likely to sign a new deal.

Although no formal discussions have taken place, Kenyon believes the 61-year-old's reshaping of his squad this summer shows his desire to stay for more success.

"The rest of football have every right to be worried," Kenyon told MUTV.

"Sir Alex says he is enjoying his football more than ever now and there is nothing to suggest he will not be here longer than his current contract.

"His ability and record speaks for itself."

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