No pressure, Ansu! Teenage sensation Fati handed the famed No 10 shirt at Barcelona as the 18-year-old is chosen as Lionel Messi’s successor
- Barcelona have revealed that 18-year-old Ansu Fati will wear the No 10 shirt
- The shirt has been vacant since Lionel Messi left to join Paris Saint-Germain
- In a video released on social media it was confirmed Fati will wear it this season
Teenage star Ansu Fati has been given the huge responsibility of succeeding Lionel Messi with the No 10 shirt at Barcelona.
There had been some suggestions that teenage midfielder Pedri could be handed the iconic jersey number.
But in a video released on social media on Wednesday, Fati, who previously wore the No 22 shirt, was presented with his new shirt number for the 2021-22 season.
Ansu Fati has been given the No 10 shirt by Barcelona as the successor to Lionel Messi
Messi, Barcelona’s greatest ever player, wore No 10 for many years before leaving for PSG
Messi’s shirt number has been vacant in the Barcelona squad since the six-time Ballon d’Or winner saw his contract expire.
He elected to join Paris Saint-Germain in France and Barcelona have now looked to maintain tradition by making his successor another graduate of the club’s famed La Masia academy.
In a statement on Barcelona’s website they detailed how ‘record breaker’ Fati is the perfect player to be tasked with filling the huge void left by Messi.
Fati (left) is seen as the next big star at Barcelona having broken through to the first team
HISTORY OF NO 10s AT BARCELONA
1982-84: Diego Maradona
1991-92: Pep Guardiola
1993-94: Hristo Stoichkov
2002-03: Juan Roman Riquelme
2003-04 – 2007-08: Ronaldinho
2008-2021: Lionel Messi
‘Ansu Fati has a new shirt number. After wearing the No 22 then No 17, the young Baraa striker will proudly wear the number 10 shirt – a famous jersey previously worn by legends such as Leo Messi, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo,’ the statement read.
‘Despite being just 18 years of age and still recovering from injury, Ansu Fati forms part of Barca’s history as a record breaker and also with the Spanish national side.
‘Since his debut in August 2019, the youngster has set records in the league and Champions League.
‘Just six days after his debut for the first team he became the youngest ever player to score in the league for FC Barcelona. He is a record breaker who will now wear the magical No 10 shirt.’
Barcelona has an incredibly rich history with the No 10 shirt having seen Diego Maradona, Pep Guardiola, Romario, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho all wear it during spells at the Nou Camp
Fati is currently recovering from injury and is easing his way back in having spent nine months on the sidelines.
He sustained a serious knee injury in a match against Real Betis back in November 2020.
Barcelona have detailed that as part of his recovery he will mix both individual and group training sessions before being put back into match action.
Speaking last week, boss Ronald Koeman said: ‘There’s still a long way to go before Fati can compete at the highest level.
Boss Ronald Koeman is easing Fati back into training after nine months out through injury
‘You don’t win that much time off the pitch in two or three weeks.
‘He won’t be ready against Sevilla. He needs more training, more strength, more physicality. We’re not going to take a risk.’
That Sevilla game, slated for September 11 after the international break, could yet be postponed and played at a later date following pleas to the Spanish FA by LaLiga.
In a statement, LaLiga revealed they sent a request to the Spanish FA (RFEF) to request the postponement of two games on that weekend – Sevilla v Barcelona and Villarreal v Alaves.
The reasoning behind their bid to have those matches postponed is due to players who will ‘join up with their clubs on Friday having played three international matches with fixtures then on Saturday or Sunday with their clubs, which makes it clear that they will be unable to compete in equal conditions.’
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