The number ten shirt at Barcelona is more than a number according to Marca. The story and the shadow behind it is intimidating, and following Lionel Messi’s departure for Paris Saint-Germain nobody at the Catalan club seems to want it.
Ibai Llanos joked about it with Gerard Pique during a Twitch session on Sunday evening. “Nobody’s wearing the ten, right?” he asked. “There’s nobody with balls”. Pique replied: “Well, I think someone will take it. I told Kun [Sergio Aguero] to take it it, but he doesn’t like the idea.” Llanos summed up the situation succinctly. “That shirt carries 30 kilos of extra weight,” he said.
Aguero announced on Wednesday afternoon that he’ll wear the number 19 at Barcelona this season, confirming that he decided against wearing the ten. His future has been much-discussed since Messi left, with the Argentine seemingly joining Barcelona to play alongside his old friend. Latest reports indicate he’s going to push for a move to MLS this winter; he’s out of action at the time of writing due to an injury. He’s expected back in November.
Barcelona began the post-Messi era with a 4-2 defeat of Real Sociedad on Sunday evening. Pique opened the scoring, with a Martin Braithwaite brace and a final effort from Sergi Roberto closing it out. La Real scored twice late on but they proved to be mere consolations. Barcelona travel to the Basque Country next, to take on Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.