Lionel Messi: Argentina To Retire No. 10 Jersey After Inter Miami Star Retires From Football

Lionel Messi: Argentina To Retire No. 10 Jersey After Inter Miami Star Retires From Football

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at January 1, 2024 at 10:27 AM
In this article:
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  • Argentina are set to retire the No. 10 jersey when Lionel Messi retires from international football
  • The 36-year-old Inter Miami star will have the honour of being the last player to wear the iconic shirt
  • He is set to feature at this year's Copa America tourney and could play at the 2026 World Cup

Argentina has taken the bold but understandable step to retire the iconic No. 10 shirt once Lionel Messi decides to conclude his illustrious career.

Messi is among the esteemed few, such as Mario Kempes, Diego Maradona, and Ariel Ortega, who have proudly donned the No. 10 for La Albiceleste.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, World Cup, retire, Number 10
Lionel Messi celebrating with his teammates after helping Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Photo by @FIFAWorldCup
Source: Twitter

The No. 10 jersey holds a special place in football history, often associated with creative playmakers renowned for their ability to craft magic on the field.

Argentina boasts a legacy of such talents, with their World Cup triumphs often linked to a No. 10: Mario Kempes in 1978, the iconic Diego Maradona in 1986, and most recently, Lionel Messi in 2022.

There was an initial move by the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to retire the iconic jersey in tribute to Maradona.

However, according to MARCA, FIFA regulations restricted teams to numbers 1 through 23 in major national team tournaments, preventing retirement.

Argentina to retire Messi's No.10 shirt

Despite initial setbacks, Argentina will soon have the chance to honour the iconic jersey, allowing Messi the distinction of being the last player to grace the revered No. 10 shirt for the national team.

"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," AFA president Claudio 'Chiqui' Tapia told an Argentine newspaper.

Messi's stint with Argentina national team

Messi, now playing in the MLS after his time at PSG and European football, boasts 180 appearances and 106 goals for the Argentine national team, according to Transfermarkt.

Prior to taking up the No. 10 shirt, Messi wore the No. 18 shirt, with the 2006 FIFA World Cup being his debut tournament with the national team.

Since then, he boasts the Copa America title, Finnalisima, and the World Cup trophy above all.

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Messi identifies player equalling his 'GOAT' standard

Sports Brief highlighted Messi's acknowledgement of a player he sees as on par with his own greatness: his renowned rival, Ronaldo.

This statement underscored the mutual respect between the two veterans, with Ronaldo stating that their rivalry has concluded.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.