Barcelona won’t be able to retire Lionel Messi’s iconic No.10 shirt after his emotional farewell because of LaLiga rules.
Spanish FA rules state LaLiga teams must assign their 25-man squads the numbers 1 to 25 for each league campaign.
Goalkeepers either wear 1, 13, or 25 while on the rare occasion of reserve players brought into the first team, they are able to take on from 26 to 50. But should Barcelona retire Messi’s No10, they would sacrifice a senior place in their squad for the 2021-22 season.
According to Mail Online, this is because the first-team squads must reflect the numbers 1 to 25 when registered with the Spanish footballing body.
The report also said Barca could still press ahead with retiring the shirt – just as their city rivals Espanyol did with the No21, following the tragic death of defender Daniel Jarque during pre-season in 2009. But this would leave an open spot which Barca cannot afford to do.
Barcelona confirmed last Thursday, August 5, that Messi would not sign a new contract with the Spanish club amid financial concerns “and structural obstacles” which prevented Messi from renewing.
Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or six times, is Barcelona’s record goalscorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances.
The Argentina international won 35 major titles at club level since making his debut in 2003 – 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns, seven Copa del Rey trophies, three Club World Cups, three European Super Cups and eight Spanish Super Cups.