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Ansu Fati explains why he took Messi’s number 10

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The teenager took over the iconic number 10 jersey following Lionel Messi’s departure from Camp Nou last summer.

Barcelona forward Ansu Fati has explained how he took over Lionel Messi’s vacant shirt number.

In the summer of 2021, Messi completed a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. His exit pulled the curtain on a magnificent 21-year spell at Camp Nou, leaving a huge void to fill at the club.

But it didn’t take long for the Argentine’s shirt number to be taken over. Fati soon changed his jersey from No. 17 to No. 10 after some encouragement from Barcelona and the approval of the club’s captains – Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, and Jordi Alba – for the 2021/22 campaign.

“When Leo was leaving, the number 17 was prepared for me, but then the club suggested number 10. The captains accepted it, and it was a great honor for me,” Fati told Canal+.

“When you play for Barça, you have to be prepared for anything. Messi has given a lot to Barcelona, and not a single Barça fan likes to see him wearing another club’s jersey. However, I hope he will do well.”

Fati wants to stay at Barca for his entire career

The 19-year-old signed a new Barcelona contract until 2027 last October. The deal included a €1 billion release clause, and silenced reports of interest from French champions PSG.

“Interest from PSG? From the start, I told my agent and my parents what my priority was, staying at Barça,” Fati said.

“In my head, I have it very clear. I hope to have the chance to spend my whole career here.”