Barcelona Confirms New No. 10 After Lionel Messi Exit

Lionel Messi's Barcelona shirt

Getty Lionel Messi's Barcelona shirt

Barcelona has confirmed that Ansu Fati is the club’s new No. 10 and will take over the iconic number following captain Lionel Messi’s shock departure from the Camp Nou.

The No. 10 has not been seen since Messi left for Paris Saint-Germain with players seemingly unwilling to cope with the challenge and the pressure of taking on the famous shirt. However, it now has a new owner in the shape of the club’s brightest attacking hope.

Barca fans may still have to wait a little longer to see the No. 10 back in action. Fati is still on the comeback trail after knee surgery and his return date has not been confirmed.

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When Will Fati Return?

The teenager has not played since November 2020 but it had been hoped he will return in September. However, coach Ronald Koeman has insisted he will not rush the youngster back despite the fact he’s returned to training.

“Don’t get carried away with these images of him training. He’s still a long way away from competing at the top level,” he told reporters. “We’re talking about eight months out of action. You don’t return after two to three weeks of training. “I don’t want to name a date, but I saw Sevilla (Sept. 11) in the press. Forget that game. He will not be there. He needs more training, more strength, more fitness… because we want him for a long time. Won’t take any risks with Ansu in that sense.”

Barca’s next match was due to be against Sevilla on September 11. However, La Liga has asked for the game to be postponed because of a clash with South America World Cup qualifying fixtures.

If the game is moved then Barca’s visit from Bayern Munich in the Champions League will be the Catalans’ next encounter. The Bavarians giants are due at the Camp Nou on September 14th in what will be both teams’ opening group game.

Fati’s return will be eagerly anticipated and will give the Barcelona attack a boost, particularly after the departures of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann during a chaotic summer at the Camp Nou.

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Backing For Ansu Fati

Former Barcelona B coach Francisco Javier García Pimienta has been talking about Fati in an interview with Que Thi Jugues and feels that while the youngster may not match Messi’s achievements he could still define an era at the Camp Nou.

He said, “It’s going to be very difficult for Ansu Fati to be able to do what Messi has done, but I’m convinced Ansu will also do a lot of good things and mark a time at the club because he has the talent.”

Fati had already showcased his exciting talent and potential before his career was interrupted by injury.  Barca will be hoping he can return soon and go on and enjoy a successful career at the Camp Nou.

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