Argentina to retire Lionel Messi’s number 10 shirt when he stops playing

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Argentina are drawing up plans to retire Lionel Messi’s number 10 shirt when the World Cup winner decides to call time on his international career.

The President of the Argentinian FA has revealed plans to retire Lionel Messi’s number 10 jersey when he calls time on his international career.
Messi cemented his legacy as an Argentinian icon when he led his country to their third World Cup trophy at the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

The forward netted seven goals and provided three assists as Argentina went on to lift the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Not only has Messi helped his country win football’s greatest prize, but he is also Argentina’s record appearance holder and all-time leading scorer after racking up 106 goals in 108 international appearances.

Although Messi continues to represent La Albiceleste, the nation’s FA are already drawing up plans to honour his legacy by retiring the famous number 10 shirt that was also worn by the iconic Diego Maradona.

© Reuters

AFA President Claudio Tapia told reporters: “When Messi retires from the national team, we will not allow anyone else to wear the number 10 after him. This number 10 will be retired for life in his honour. It’s the least we can do for him.”

Messi addressed his international future in a recent interview with journalist Sebastian Vignolo, admitting that he is unsure whether he will be able to play in the 2026 World Cup.

The 36-year-old said: “Today all I’m thinking about is getting to the Copa America and being able to play in it and hopefully be able to fight again and try to be champions and then time will tell if I’m there or not.

“The reality is that I’m going to be at an age that normally doesn’t allow one to play at a World Cup and that’s why I said I don’t think I’ll be there.

“But now I want to be here [Argentina] more than ever because after spending so many years suffering and now we’re experiencing a special moment that I’ve never experienced before.

© Reuters

“I want to enjoy it and I feel good with the group. I want to take advantage of all that without thinking about two or three years’ time, which in football is a lot.

“I’m not thinking about the World Cup, but I’m not saying 100% that I won’t be there because anything can happen. Because of my age and situation, the most normal thing is that I won’t be there.

“But then we’ll see how far it goes and maybe we’ll do well in the Copa America and everything will work out for me to continue or maybe not, I can’t say yes or no.”

While Messi is focused on Argentina’s defence of the Copa America next summer, he is also preparing for his first full season with Inter Miami.

The Argentine will be joined by another former Barcelona teammate after Luis Suarez recently completed a deal to join Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets at the MLS side.

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