What number could Lionel Messi wear at Inter Miami?
The Argentinean is set for a new adventure in south Florida, what shirt number could he wear with Inter Miami?
Like all of football’s greats, Leo Messi is associated with a particular number. For most of his career, he has worn the number 10 jersey, writing his name alongside other legendary No.10s such as Maradona and Pelé… But Messi is mainly known for being the owner of the No.10 shirt during his time at Barcelona and with the Argentina national team. At other moments of his career, he has been assigned other numbers.
So what squad number will he be given when he completes his move to Inter Miami? And perhaps more importantly, are any of his favourites numbers (including the No.10) currently available?
When it comes to numerology, 10 and 30 are the Argentinean forward’s path numbers. He was handed the No.30 shirt when he first broke into the Barcelona first team in the 2004/05 season - as talented as the teenager was, there was no way he was going to wrest the No.10 from Ronaldinho...
In 2001, three years before he made the leap to the first team, Messi played his first game for Barça’s Under-13s wearing the No.9 shirt. But for most of his time at La Masia, up until he graduated to Barça B, his squad number was number 10. With the reserves, he wore three different numbers in the 2004/5 season - No.11, No.8 and No.9. He kept the No.30 for his first season as a fully fledged member of the first team, before switching to the No.19 in 2005/6. This was partly down to LaLiga regulations which at the time obliged clubs to reserve the numbers 1-25 for their senior squads while youth players listed for the first team on a temporary basis would be handed a higher number.
Messi finally inherited the No.10 jersey after Ronaldinho’s departure in 2008 - the same year he was handed the No.10 with Argentina which had previously been worn by Riquelme and Pablo Aimar. Before that, Messi’s numbers with the national team had been 18, 19 and 15.
No.30 in Paris
When Messi left Barcelona to join PSG in 2021, the No.10 shirt was already taken by his old team mate Neymar and the No.19 was occupied by Pablo Sarabia. In Paris, Messi wore the No.30 shirt apart from a couple of occasions when Ney was out injured and he was able to take the No.10.
So what will happen when Messi lands in Miami? The good news is that the No.10 jersey is free - if he wants to take it. Benja Cremaschi currently has the No.30 and Robbie Robertson has the No.19. MLS doesn’t state whether clubs are able to change roster numbers midway through a season but it looks like Inter Miami and Messi won’t be affected even if that’s the case.