BARCELONA – After the most dramatic transfer market ever remembered at the Camp Nou, Barcelona began the month of September by sending a wink of optimism to the future and a message of the new era that begins this season. After weeks speculating about the possibility that the 10 that Lionel Messi wore during the last thirteen seasons would be deserted, the club made official through a video that Ansu Fati will be the new owner of the mythical number.
In this way, the suspicion that the Barça club could leave the ’10’ orphaned for the first time in its history, without it being used by any player since they were personalized in 1995 by the departure of Messi from the club to the Paris Saint-Germain.
Ansu will be the eighth footballer to see his name printed on the jersey with the 10 in a story that goes much further, with legendary players who honored this magic number.
Around the Camp Nou there was speculation, and not a little, with the serious possibility that no one would succeed the Argentine star this season, although the impossibility of removing the shirt already made us think that this could not happen. As much as the club was always silent in this regard, attending to the movements of its squad that could release numbers that were not understood as definitive. The 7 that Antoine Griezmann wore in the first three days of the League and that after his departure to Atlético de Madrid is left by Ousmane Dembélé.
The youth squad, who wore the 17th last season, will replace the best footballer in the history of Barça and who already inherited the number ’10’ in the summer of 2008 from Ronaldinho, wearing the number, over 13 seasons, in 668 games. . Before, the Brazilian wore the same number during 207 games in five seasons, between 2003 and 2008, taking over from Riquelme, who only used it in the 2002-03 season, the only one he played for Barça and in 42 official matches.
Cuéllar, Giovanni, Litmanen and Rivaldo were the other owners of the 10 with their name stamped on the shirt between 1995 and 2002, taking the place of other players, previously, who also wore it.
Special, of course, is the case of Diego Armando Maradona, who wore the 10 during his two seasons as a Barça player, in 58 games between 1982 and 1984, before making it his at Napoli. and to occupy his number in the Barça the Scotsman Steve Archibald, who habitually, although not always, took it between 1984 and 1987. Robert Fernández was the next to take it until his departure in 1990 to Valencia, although on some occasions, few, also Gary Lineker took it.
Robert’s departure led to the number becoming the regular property of Michael Laudrup for the next four seasons, until 1994, although the Dane sometimes wore the 9 and left the 10 for Eusebio, who had started with the 8 that remained in Stoichkov property, or Guillermo Amor.
Until Cuéllar took it already personalized in the 1995-96 season, it was Gica Hagi who wore the 10, going to 11 in that first year with the names on the shirt, taking on the 1994-95 campaign on some occasion the 10 Roger García , who stayed after the 24 … And has gone down in history as the last footballer to use the 14 at Ajax until the Dutch club decided to withdraw the number in honor of Johan Cruyff.
Before all of them, before Maradona, players like Juanjo Estella wore the 10 on their shirts, between 1980 and 1982 and that happened to Juan Manuel Asensi, who was the one who wore it the most seasons between his arrival from Elche in 1970 and his He marches to Puebla de México ten years later … Except for the 1973-74 season in which it was usually the 8th because the Peruvian Hugo Cholo Sotil was wearing the 10th.
Josep Maria Fusté was the footballer who carried the number the most during the 60s of the last century, succeeding Luis Suárez, the only Spanish footballer by birth who won the Ballon d’Or and who was Barcelona’s 10th between 1955 and his departure. to Inter Milan in 1961, although on several occasions it was also Kubala who wore it.
Before them, the number did not have an established player, being changed often during a time when said number 10 did not have the significance that it began to enjoy so prominently until the emergence of the great Pelé.
Now, in 2021 and the stage of the best footballer in the history of Barça closed, the club launched the message of the new era without any dissimulation. All honor and glory to the memory of Leo Messi … But with an eye on the future that Ansu Fati represents.