By Mukwuzi Joseph
Lionel Messi has barely been gone a month, but Barcelona have already replaced the six-time Ballon D’or winner’s iconic number ten shirt and handed it to another talent.
Ansu Fati, at just 18 years of age, has been entrusted to do the shirt justice after Messi was forced to call time on his 21-year stay at the Camp Nou after Barca fell foul of La Liga wage restrictions.
The image of the number 10 on the back of the famous red and blue home shirt is synonymous with Messi’s time at the club, after the Argentine was handed the shirt himself in 2008 following Ronaldinho’s departure.
In the wake of Messi’s departure, there was plenty of speculation as to whether Barca would retire the number altogether given it would be nearly impossible for anyone to recreate the kind of legacy Messi did.
The 34-year-old won four Champions League titles, seven Copa del Rey’s and ten La Liga’s – cementing his status as Barca’s greatest ever player.