Days after Lionel Messi’s tearful exit from his boyhood club Barcelona, rumours are that he could be handed the No. 19 shirt at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The six-time Ballon d’Or winner had an emotional farewell over the weekend and is now set to start a new chapter in the French capital, with the official announcement probably to come in the next few days.
According to a GivemeSport.com report, Messi, who is ending his over two-decade-old association with the Spanish giants, is expected to sign a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 giants. The report also cited that the Argentine legend has elected to wear the jersey number 19, as opposed to his preferred number 10.
At present, the No 10 jersey is worn by his close friend Neymar and the Brazilian is prepared to vacate it for Messi. However, Messi refused the offer in favour of his former iconic jersey number at both club and international level.
Messi made his debut with No 30 with the Blaugrana and played with that for two seasons, he took the No19 in 2006 following the departure of Fernando Navarro. He also wore the No 19 in his earlier days while representing Argentina. After Ronaldinho’s exit in 2008, Messi switched to the iconic number 10 jersey and the rest, as they say, is history.
However, Spanish right-winger Pablo Sarabia currently occupies the No.19 jersey, but it is likely that he’ll happily vacate it for one of the greatest players of all time.
Meanwhile, with the transfer not yet officially announced, when Messi was asked about a move to PSG in Sunday’s press conference, he said the move was “a possibility, but nothing is agreed". The report also reported that the 34-year-old is close to relocating from Catalonia to Paris.
PSG are on a heavy recruiting spree this summer, with elite performers like Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnaruma and Georginio Wijnaldum already arriving at the Parc des Princes. Messi will be the fourth free transfer if he joins the French giants.