FC Barcelona

Ansu Fati named new Barcelona number 10

Max Cooper
Ansu Fati has replaced Lionel Messi as Barcelona's no.10
Ansu Fati has replaced Lionel Messi as Barcelona's no.10 / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

La Masia product Ansu Fati has been awarded Barcelona's number ten jersey for the 2021/22 campaign, following in the footsteps of club legend Lionel Messi.

The Blaugrana were unable to renew Messi's contract in Catalonia this year, meaning that their Argentine icon was forced to walk away from the club, leaving the famous number ten shirt vacant for the new season.

It was unclear whether the jersey would be filled, with La Liga rules forbidding Barça from retiring the number completely. But all rumours were put to bed on Wednesday morning, when the club announced starlet Fati as the new number 10 in the famous red and blue jersey.

Elsewhere, Ousmane Dembele has taken the number seven shirt vacated by Antoine Griezmann when he sealed a deadline day return to Atletico Madrid, while Yusuf Demir has been given Dembele's old number 11 and new signing Luuk de Jong will wear 17.

Fati becomes the latest holder of the iconic number ten, following Messi's 13-year spell in the shirt. The Argentine was awarded the chance to take the shirt in 2008, when the club sold Ronaldinho upon the emergence of their world beater.

He became the greatest player on the planet while donning that jersey, winning three Champions League trophies, eight La Liga titles and six Ballons d'Or as their number ten. Messi's departure shook supporters to their core this summer, but the faith placed in Fati will offer renewed hope.

The 18-year-old drew comparisons with Messi from an early age, and he has been expected to carry the torch from the forward since bursting onto the scene. However, Fati has suffered a series of complications to a nasty knee injury, which has kept him out of action for nine months.

He wore the number 22 jersey last year, but the club clearly believe he is the man destined to carry them to glory for the next decade or so, entrusting him with the most important shirt on offer. Fati is back in training with Barça after his injury, and will return to the Camp Nou field shortly.