Cristiano Ronaldo is well and truly back, and along with his perfectly executed last-minute winners in the Champions League on display in this week’s win over Villareal, there was also another welcome sight: CR7 back in a long sleeve shirt.

When it was announced that Cristiano Ronaldo would rejoin Manchester United, the club where he established himself as a superstar of the game, there was much rejoicing – amongst Manchester United fans at least. But when he took to the pitch something was amiss… sure, the goals were there, along with the trademark celebrations and signature Mercurial Superflys. Even the iconic number seven shirt had been kindly given up by Edison Cavani. And there it was… a subtle detail that may have been missed by most; Ronaldo was playing in short sleeve shirts. Try as he might to sort the situation with a long sleeve base layer underneath, it just didn’t look right.

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Thankfully though, for the 2-1 win over Villareal in the Champions League this week, Ronaldo was back in a long sleeve shirt. 

Quite why the Portuguese has always opted for long sleeve shirts is beyond us. Clearly it isn’t anything to do with the chillier climate on these shores, as he’s always been partial to a long sleever, from his days in Spain at Real Madrid, where adidas custom made them, to Italy and Juventus, where they didn't, and he had to settle for the base layer look, something we’ve no doubt irked him. But now he’s back in his preferred option, and the world just feels better for it, right?

Of course, he’s not alone in the long sleeve department either. Fellow new signing and former Real teammate Raphaël Varane also opted for the long sleeve look, although strangely the Frenchman still chose to wear a long sleeve base layer as well, rolling up the sleeves of his jersey. 

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So why are both players only now in long sleeve shirts? It appears that issue lies with adidas, who don’t normally produce long sleeve versions of the authentic players’ shirts. You can buy long sleeve replica at the club store, but they won’t offer the same innovation and performance benefits as the version the players wear on the pitch. For that, the shirts have to be custom made by the Three Stripes.

It's a style and trend that has sadly been phased out over the last decade, much to our personal annoyance, replaced by players wearing the base layer option instead. But this is Cristiano Ronaldo we’re talking about, and what he wants – generally speaking – he gets. Although the dynamic of Nike’s biggest footballing asset negotiating with adidas is something we’d have paid good money to have seen. 

Might be a push too far to expect him to bring back the noodle hairstyle of days gone by, so we’ll settle for the long sleeve shirt and keep our peace.

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