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On this day 14 years ago, Lionel Messi wore the No.10 shirt for the first time in what was the start of something very special.
The Argentine debuted wearing No.30 back in October 2004 and was fairly impressive wearing the No.19 in 2006/07 and 2007/08, reaching double figures in La Liga in both seasons.
But once his shirt number changed following on from Ronaldinho's departure to AC Milan, Messi reached a whole new gear completely.
He wore the No.10 for the first time in Blaugrana colours in a pre-season friendly against Scottish outfit Hibernian at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.
ON THIS DAY: In 2008, Lionel Messi wore the Barcelona No.10 shirt for the first time.— Lionel Messi Stuff (@LMessiStuff) July 24, 2019
The rest is history. The GOAT journey 🐐 pic.twitter.com/qpKA7dIjID
On this day in 2008, Lionel Messi took Barcelona's legendary No. 10 shirt from Ronaldinho ✨ pic.twitter.com/DIBOSkyPZp— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 24, 2022
Barca won 6-0, with Messi scoring a gorgeous goal and assisting Pedro's worldie with his new number on the back.
He also had another goal wrongly disallowed for offside by the referee but it didn't matter much as Eidur Gudjohnsen bagged a brace and Bojan Krkic and Yaya Toure were also on the scoresheet.
Pep Guardiola's charges didn't even have their names on the back of the shirts but everyone knew who they were by the end of the campaign as they won the La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey treble.
Messi scored 38 goals in all competitions that season and hit a staggering 630 for the club sporting No.10.
Messi's brilliance with the No.10 on his back has been so out of this world that Ronaldinho, the man whom he inherited it from, has been vocal about wanting to Barca retire it in his honour.
But after he ended a glittering 21-year stint at the Nou Camp last summer when he left for Paris Saint-Germain on a free, the iconic number was handed to new star Ansu Fati.
Neymar, Messi's close friend, was happy to give up the No.10 shirt upon his arrival at the Parc des Princes.
But the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner politely declined his offer and instead took the No.30 shirt - his first ever number.
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