Barcelona will not be able to retire Lionel Messi’s iconic No.10 shirt unless they opt to permanently give up a valuable slot in the senior team quota.
Spanish FA rules state LaLiga teams must assign their 25-man squads the numbers 1 to 25 for each league campaign.
Goalkeepers either wear 1, 13 or 25 while on the rare occasion of reserve players brought into the first team, they are able to take on from 26 to 50.
But should Barcelona retire Messi’s No10, they would sacrifice a senior place in their squad for the 2021-22 season.
This is because the first team squads must reflect the numbers 1 to 25 when registered with the Spanish footballing body.
Of course, Barca could still press ahead with retiring the shirt – just as their city rivals Espanyol did with the No21, following the tragic death of defender Daniel Jarque during pre-season in 2009.
But this would leave an open spot which Barca cannot afford to do.
Messi will this week expectedly be confirmed as a Paris Saint Germain player.