Lionel Messi recently expressed his sentiments regarding the iconic No. 10 jersey he has become synonymous with. The Argentine football legend admitted missing the cherished number during his stint with Paris Saint-Germain.
Nonetheless, upon joining PSG, Messi encountered an unexpected hurdle, as his former FC Barcelona teammate Neymar Jr. had the No. 10. This deviation from the familiar number led Messi to select an alternative.
Eventually, he chose No. 30, a number with sentimental value as it was the same one he wore during his formative years with the Barcelona first team.
“I don’t think today it is as important as it used to be some time ago, but obviously, the number 10 shirt is still special,” Messi said in a conversation with Zinedine Zidane for Adidas (h/t GOAL). “When I was in Paris, I didn’t wear the number 10 shirt. Well, I was used to always wearing the number 10 shirt from all those years in Barcelona, in the national team.
“Although it wasn’t a big deal, I kind of missed a little not having ‘my number,’ right? Because I have worn it all my life, but it’s ok, then I got used to it. And the number 30 was special for me, too. I started playing with the No. 30. My first game was with the number 30, so it has something special too.”
Zinedine Zidane: People only want to see Lionel Messi with the No. 10
Furthermore, the former French international and Real Madrid legend acknowledged the universal desire to witness Messi don the No. 10 shirt.
Zidane’s words echoed the sentiments of fans and football enthusiasts worldwide who had grown accustomed to associating the legendary number with the magic Messi brought to the game.
“But it was special just for you,” Zidane responded. “People only want to see Messi wearing the number 10. If I see Messi in the field, I want to see the number 10 on his back.”
Messi eventually went back to wearing the No. 10 after joining Inter Miami this past summer.