Lionel Messi: Why is he wearing No. 30 instead of No. 10 at PSG?
For many of the more educated football fans, the number 10 is more than just a prestigious number based on superstition, rather it is more commonly recognized as a symbol of the most complete player on the team.
It is the playmaker, the most creative, the main man if you will, donned by many of the greatest legends like Pele. It is similar to when you hear that clubs are looking for a “proper number 9” referring to a complete striker, a proper number 10 is a complete player through and through.
Arguably the most famous number 10 of all time, Lionel Messi wore the No. 10 shirt for FC Barcelona in Spain for his entire career, or atleast that’s what you would think. With the move to France, the 34-year-old free agent superstar will be making a change, wearing the No. 30 shirt.
Why, you ask? Well. There is a significant reason behind this happening and it isn’t coincidental.
In his debut season for Barcelona’s senior side, he played while wearing a number 30 jersey. After two seasons, he changed it to 19. He had joined Barcelona when he was 13. He played for 21 years for the Spanish giants, but people only knew him properly when he wore the number ten jersey, so now he will show his game for PSG wearing the very first number he ever wore.
It’s going to take some adjusting to seeing Lionel Messi in a new club jersey, let alone a new number. He actually wore the No. 30 for his first two seasons, before switching to the No. 19 jersey in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 campaigns, biding his time while Brazilian star Ronaldinho graced the No. 10 shirt.
Ronaldinho passed on the torch if you will, with the No. 10 jersey when he moved to AC Milan in 2008, allowing Messi to graduate and earn the Barcelona No. 10 jersey in 2008-2009. Nobody would contest his ownership for a full 13 seasons.
Another factor to take into account for Messi was that the No. 10 at PSG: It’s currently worn by Messi’s friend and ex-Barcelona teammate Neymar. Reports stated that the Brazilian had even gone as far as offering his shirt to the Argentine, but Messi declined the gesture, reaffirming his selfless nature especially with his close mate Neymar.
Main image credits: Embed from Getty Images