Ansu Fati says he feels ‘no pressure’ to inherit Lionel Messi’s 10th shirt after sensational goal in his first game back after 10 months of injury
- Ansu Fati feels ‘no pressure’ after taking responsibility for the number 10 shirt
- Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho and Pep Guardiola have all worn it
- Fati – who graduated from the club’s famous La Masia academy – says he is proud
- The youngster also scored back in his first game after being out injured for 10 months
Ansu Fati says he feels ‘no pressure’ after taking responsibility for the number 10 shirt Lionel Messi wore at Barcelona.
The Catalan giants were unable to withdraw Messi’s shirt after he opted to join PSG, as Spanish FA rules require LaLiga teams to allocate their 25-man squad numbers 1-25.
So Barcelona made the decision to hand it over to another graduate of the club’s famed La Masia academy instead.
Ansu Fati feels ‘no pressure’ after taking responsibility for number 10 shirt at Barcelona
After wearing the shirt during Barcelona’s win over Levante, Fati – who has moved from number 17 to 10 – says he is more proud than nervous when it comes to wearing the jersey.
He said, ‘It’s not pressure. I am proud to wear the number 10 after Leo. I’m happy with the club and the captains for this opportunity.’
Barcelona released a statement early in the month explaining why ‘record-breaker’ Fati was the perfect player to file Messi’s shoes.
Messi, Barcelona’s greatest ever player, wore number 10 for years before leaving for PSG
Rivaldo (left) and Ronaldinho (right) are among those who wore No 10 during Barcelona
‘Ansu Fati has a new jersey number. After wearing the number 22 and then number 17, the young Barca 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.
HISTORY OF NO 10S IN 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
“Despite being only 18 years old and still recovering from injury, Ansu Fati is part of Barca’s history as a record breaker and also with the Spanish national team.
Since his debut in August 2019, the youngster has set records in the league and the Champions League.
Just six days after his first-team debut, 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.”
The Barcelona number 10 shirt carries a lot of weight – previously worn by Diego Maradona, Pep Guardiola, Romario, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.
However, Fati has shown he is worthy of the number, having scored when he returned to action on Sunday.
Fati is recovering from a serious knee injury sustained during a game against Real Betis in November 2020.
However, he came back into action after 10 months off – he came off the bench in the 82nd minute – to score a sensational goal in the Catalans 3-0 win over Levante.
The youngster grabbed the ball in midfield and charged forward, dodging several Levante defenders. He then unleashed an impressive 20-yard strike to finish the game.
The youngster also scored in his first game after 10 months out with a knee injury
He says he ‘didn’t imagine such a return’ and that he is ‘very happy’ with the result
Speaking of his goal, Fait said: “I never imagined such a return. I’m happy with the win, there’s still a long way to go.
‘Thanks to the doctors and physios who came to see me.
“I am happy to help the team and my family who have suffered these months. I am very grateful to everyone.’