Lionel Messi will wear the number 30 shirt for new club Paris Saint-Germain, making it the first time since 2008 that he hasn’t worn his iconic number 10.
Messi became synonymous with the 10 shirt at Barcelona, but that jersey is already occupied in Paris by friend and former Barça teammate Neymar.
Neymar, who previously wore 11 when they played together at Camp Nou, is rumoured to have offered it to Messi, but the 34-year-old politely declined to opt for something different.
Instead, he will take number 30, the jersey he wore when he initially broke into the Barcelona first-team as a teenager way back in 2004. Pictures were leaked on Twitter ahead of his unveiling showing him donning the shirt.
In Ligue 1, 30 is usually reserved for goalkeepers only but the rules have been allowed to be relaxed for Messi on this occasion.
The only other number the living legend has worn during his senior club career is 19, occupying that shirt at Barcelona from 2006 until 2008. It marked his permanent promotion to the first-team squad at Camp Nou, before eventually taking over number 10 when Ronaldinho left.
In the same way that Messi’s departure from Barcelona is expected to cost the club financially in terms of shrinking revenue from commercial sales and prospective sponsorships, PSG are likely to enormously benefit from the increased global profile that the player will bring.
On the pitch, meanwhile, there is no longer any excuse for them not to win the Champions League.
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