Since Lionel Messi's shocking departure from Barcelona was announced, many began wondering what would happen to his iconic no. 10 jersey. Some demanded the number be retired as not many can replicate what the Argentine did at the Camp Nou, but due to La Liga rules, this proved impossible.
Soon after, speculations emerged that the no. 10 shirt would be handed to Philippe Coutinho, which would have been a shocking given that the Brazilian talent has failed to impress since sealing his mega-money move to Catalonia for Liverpool. However, those claims were quickly proven to be false.
So who will wear the no.10 jersey, following in the footsteps of Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, and Rivaldo, just to name a few? The Spanish giants revealed this in the early hours of Wednesday, the day after the summer transfer window shut, announcing that the honor will go to none other than Ansu Fati.
This is just another huge step in what has been a meteoric rise for the young Spaniard. A serious injury might have prematurely ended his 2020/21 season, but no one has forgotten how special the 18-year-old is, hence this decision.
"A nsu Fati has a new shirt number. After wearing the number 22 then 17, the young Barça striker will proudly wear the number 10 shirt - a famous jersey previously worn by legends such as Leo Messi, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo," Barcelona said in an official statement.
"Despite being just 18 years of age and still recovering from injury, Ansu Fati forms part of Barça's history as a record breaker and also with the Spanish national side.
"Since his debut in August 2019, the youngster has set records in the league and Champions League. Just six days after his debut for the first team he became the youngest ever player to score in the league for FC Barcelona."
The Blaugrana also released a video to announce his new number via social media, with several fans welcoming this poetic passing of the torch.
A lot of pressure will be on the teenager this season. Not only has Lionel Messi left the club, moving to PSG after the club failed to get the Argentine registered, but Antoine Griezmann has also departed, sealing a return to Atletico on deadline day. Regardless, the 18-year-old has shown his talent before and will look to do that once again when he returns from the sidelines.