Can Barcelona retire Messi's number 10?
The club announced that Lionel Messi would be leaving the club and the player tearfully confirmed it. But will his famous shirt ever be seen again?
The writing has been on the wall for some time, and on Sunday it was confirmed. A tearful Lionel Messi appeared at the Camp Nou, with family and Barcelona president in close proximity, to announce that he would be leaving the club against his wishes. His destination appears to be set, with the ambitious Paris Saint-Germain waiting with open arms to take arguably the greatest player that has ever lived, and with no transfer fee.
- Barça's last-ditch counter-offer to keep Messi
- Grealish: "I felt exactly like Messi when I left Aston Villa"
- Barça club member files complaint to block Messi's PSG move
- PSG prepared to bend wage structure for Messi
- Llopis lays into Laporta: "There was no effort to ensure Messi stayed"
- Messi exit could cost Barça €137 million in lost revenue
Barcelona, Messi and the number 10
One of the many questions that have been raised since the exit situation first became a real possibility is the future of the number 10 shirt that the Argentine made synonymous with his name. There are so many iconic images of it - remember Messi holding it aloft after scoring against his biggest rivals? - and for this reason some people are calling for it to be retired.
A couple of years ago this same topic came up in an interview with another genius former Barça player, Ronaldinho, who had the double digits on his back between 2003 and 2008.
"When Messi retires, which I hope will be a long time from now, they should leave the No 10 there so that nobody can touch it again,” the brazilian entertainer said.
"He is the best in the club's history and has done what no one else could."
Although the idea seems simple enough, one challenge that comes with going down this road is that the club would be impacted by LaLiga regulations.
The league’s rules state that each season a club must name their 25 first team squad players for registration, and they are assigned shirt numbers 1 to 25 inclusive. By retiring the number 10, they would only be able to register 24 squad members, hence why it is not a tradition that is followed.
Is it worth taking this step for posterity?
Neymar offers Messi PSG No. 10
Interestingly, as the news of Messi putting pen to paper in Paris - or potentially the act taking place somewhere like Ibiza - is awaited, reports that Neymar has already offered the Argentine his PSG number 10 shirt have emerged. For someone like the Brazilian to do this just shows the living legend that Messi is.
A new future awaits us...
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