Lionel Messi will be given the No. 10 shirt if he returns to Barcelona – report
With rumours of Lionel Messi returning to Barcelona in the summer gaining weight, Achraf Ben Ayad has come up with a fresh update on the Catalans’ plans if the Argentine international makes a comeback.
As per the journalist, Barcelona will hand Messi the No. 10 shirt back should be complete a sensational return from PSG before next season.
Messi wore the No. 10 jersey at Barcelona from 2008/09 up until his exit in 2021 and ensured that the shirt achieved iconic status.
Upon his exit in 2021, the Catalans handed the shirt to Ansu Fati, showing a great degree of faith in the La Masia graduate. However, the youngster has struggled with injuries and a lack of game-time ever since.
Meanwhile, rumours of Messi’s possible return are growing like wildfire, especially over the past week. On Friday it was reported that the 35-year-old will leave PSG as his ‘happiness’ is at Barcelona.
The Blaugrana are already chalking out all possible plans so that they can facilitate the return of the seven-time Ballon d’Or.
While paying his full wages will be an issue, reports suggest that Barça could offer him a deal worth €10 million per year and offer a percentage of any commercial profit the club achieves from his return, such as shirt sales, sponsorship, and so on.
The club anticipates that shirt sales would go through the roof if Messi would secure a return to Barcelona. Along with that, there would also be a bump in ticket sales even if they will be playing at the smaller Montjuic Olympic Stadium.
Messi’s comeback would potentially also lead to additional sponsorship income from across the continent while the friendly games and pre-season tours would also rake in more revenue.
Any move will still be dependent on the club’s Financial Fair Play issues. But, things seem to be picking up pace for the Blaugrana in their hunt for Messi. And should he returns, he will be given his old #10 shirt back. Only time will tell what that would mean for Ansu Fati.