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31st Dec 2023

Argentina to retire number 10 shirt when Lionel Messi quits international football

Callum Boyle

Lionel Messi

The move could be a controversial one

Argentina are to retire the number 10 shirt “for life” when Lionel Messi quits international football.

Messi completed his lifelong goal of winning the World Cup with his home nation – their first since 1986 – in 2022 while also scoring 106 goals in 180 appearances.

Now at the age of 36, Messi is in the latter stages of his career and the Inter Miami star will walk away from football sooner rather than later and bring an end to one of the most decorated careers in footballing history.

Ahead of the day he retires from international football, Claudio Tapia, the President of the AFA said: “When Messi retires from the national team, we will not allow anyone else to wear the number 10 after him.

“This number 10 will be retired for life in his honor. It’s the least we can do for him.”

After making his debut in 2005, in which he was sent off two minutes into the game as an 18-year-old, it’s safe to say the magician has gone on to have quite the success.

As well as his World Cup triumph, Messi has also won the Copa America and won an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Next season will see the forward turn 37 and begin his first full season with Inter Miami in which he will reunite with former Barcelona teammate and long-time friend, Luis Suarez.

Suarez was confirmed by the MLS franchise earlier this month and will also line up alongside Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

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