Barcelona will be unable to retire Lionel Messi‘s iconic No.10 shirt following his emotional farewell from the club unless they opt to permanently give up a valuable slot in the senior team quota, it has been revealed.
Spanish FA rules state LaLiga teams must assign their 25-man squads the numbers 1 to 25 for each league campaign.
Goalkeepers either wear 1, 13 or 25 while on the rare occasion of reserve players brought into the first team, they are able to take on from 26 to 50.
Barcelona are unable to retire Lionel Messi’s no.10 unless they give up a squad space
But should Barcelona retire Messi’s No10, they would sacrifice a senior place in their squad for the 2021-22 season.
This is because the first team squads must reflect the numbers 1 to 25 when registered with the Spanish footballing body.
Of course, Barca could still press ahead with retiring the shirt – just as their city rivals Espanyol did with the No21, following the tragic death of defender Daniel Jarque during pre-season in 2009.
But this would leave an open spot which Barca cannot afford to do. Likewise, any incoming players in the future are likely to be enticed by the prospect of wearing Messi’s old shirt, while talented starlets from La Masia will dream of one day inheriting it.
Barca will also be aware that future signings will be enticed by the chance of getting the no.10
On Sunday morning it was confirmed in an official press conference with Messi himself that he would be moving on from the Nou Camp, despite having an agreement in place with his beloved club.
Messi told the world media he has agreed to take a 50 per cent pay cut on his previous lucrative salary in order to commit the rest of his career to the club he joined as a young boy, but LaLiga ruling regarding the wage bill of teams would not permit it.
Barca have been hugely hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic and have been struggling to balance the books financially for years.
Financial disarray ultimately meant Barca’s wage bill was far too big to even re-register Messi as a player, and ongoing issues remain with getting summer signings Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero officially named in time.
Lionel Messi broke down in tears before he even got to his goodbye speech at the Nou Camp
Excited Paris Saint-Germain fans gathered outside the Parc des Princes on Monday as they await the arrival of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi
Fans were also outside Messi’s house in Barcelona on Monday, where the player was filmed walking by the pool in swimming shorts
Messi is this week expected to be confirmed as a Paris Saint Germain player, in a sensational move which will see him link up with close friend Neymar, and play under his fellow Argentine Mauricio Pochettino.
On Monday hundreds of excited PSG fans gathered outside the club’s Parc des Princes stadium in hope of a glimpse of Messi arriving, though news soon emerged that the Argentine star was still at his home in Catalonia.
Messi, 34, didn’t confirm he was about to sign for the French club in Sunday’s press conference but French daily newspaper L’Equipe said he was set for a medical in Paris on Monday and to finalise terms.