Pique Tells Barcelona What To Do With Messi’s No. 10 Shirt

Lionel Messi shirts

Getty Lionel Messi shirts still on sale at the club shop

Gerard Pique has been happy to offer his thoughts on what Barcelona should do with Lionel Messi’s No. 10 shirt and says he would like to see the iconic number used this season.

The No. 10 has not yet been worn by a Barcelona player yet, either in preseason or during Sunday’s opening La Liga game against Real Sociedad, but could still be handed to a first-team player for the new campaign.

Pique spoke about the issue on Twitch after Barca’s 4-2 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday and feels the iconic number should be used by the Catalan giants despite the pressures it may bring, as reported by ESPN Argentina.

“Someone will have to wear the 10. I told Kun [Aguero] to put it on, but he doesn’t see this idea very clearly,” he said. “Wearing this number on the back is very cool, but very complicated as well because of it’s history and such.”

Sergio Aguero is a good friend of Lionel Messi and previously wore the No. 10 shirt at former club Manchester City. However, he looks set to wear the No. 19 shirt at Barcelona if leaked images of a photoshoot are anything go by.

The Argentine is not expected to make his debut for Barcelona until November. The forward suffered a calf injury during pre-season which has ruled him out for 10 weeks.

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Pique Excited By Barcelona Future

Pique also spoke about the exciting youngsters coming through Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy. The central defender believes the players can offer the club a bright future and lift some of the gloom following Lionel Messi’s shock exit.

“You have to put a lot of work in the academy,” he explained, “Especially at Barca, our past results show us that. And now there’s a great upcoming generation. Gavi, Nico, Demir, Riqui, Pedri (who isn’t from the academy but is very young), Ansu, Araujo, Eric… They’re very good.”

Youngsters Pedri, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, and Nico Gonzalez all featured on Sunday as Barcelona started life without Messi with an impressive win over Real Sociedad in front of 20,000 supporters at the Camp Nou.

Pique Video With Koeman Goes Viral

Pique made headlines before the match for agreeing to lower his salary, which allowed the club to register Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia in time for the game. The defender then went on to score the opening goal from a Memphis free-kick in Barcelona’s win over La Real.

His performance drew praise from manager Ronald Koeman after the match, with the Dutchman praising the center-back’s leadership qualities, as reported by Marca. He said, “For me [Pique] was also a leader last season. This season he’s better physically. His attitude has been exemplary, just like the other veterans.”

Pique subsequently shared a video on social media, which quickly went viral, of when he met Koeman when he was a child and asked for his autograph.

The defender’s leadership qualities will be needed this season, particularly with Messi having departed. Midfielder Sergio Busquets has taken over the armband from the Argentine, but there’s no doubt how influential Pique can still be for the team both on and off the pitch.

READ NEXT: Barcelona’s Jordi Alba Hits Back At ‘Lies’ Over Messi’s Exit

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