After Lionel Messi retires, his number 10 jersey will also be retired by the Argentina national football team. The Argentine Football Association has taken this decision to honor Messi. Messi has not retired from international football yet.
Argentina won the Football World Cup title in Qatar last year under the captaincy of Messi. The team became world champion after 36 years. Argentina defeated France in a penalty shootout in the final.
Spanish newspaper Marca quoted Argentine Football Association (AFA) President Claudio Tapia as saying that when Messi retires from international football, no one else will be allowed to wear his number 10 jersey. The number 10 jersey will be retired in Messi's honor. We can do this much for them.
Before Messi, Diego Maradona also used to wear jersey number 10 while playing for Argentina. Argentina tried to retire this jersey in honor of Maradona in 2002, but this could not happen due to the strict rules of the International Football Federation.
According to FIFA rules, teams must use numbers 1 to 23. In such a situation, someone may be forced to take the jersey of this number in the future.
Messi retired from international football after losing the Copa America final in 2016, but then returned to the field. In fact, after the defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and the defeat to Chile in the Copa America, there was doubt that Messi would not play further. He also retired in 2016, but then he made a comeback and has shown great performance since then.
Messi has scored 106 goals in 180 matches for Argentina. He has made the team win the 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup. It is not yet clear whether Messi will play in the 2026 FIFA World Cup or not, but before that he would like to win the Copa America Cup for the second time for Argentina in 2024.
A few weeks ago, 6 jerseys worn by Messi during the 2022 World Cup were sold in an auction for $ 7.8 million (about Rs 64 crore).
Messi is the only footballer to score a goal in all the matches played in a single season of the World Cup. He also scored goals against France in the final.
In cricket, BCCI has retired the jerseys of MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar in their honour. In December last year itself, BCCI had decided to retire the jersey number-7 of former Team India captain Dhoni in his honour. Under his captaincy, Dhoni has won the 2007 T-20 World Cup, the 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. Before Dhoni, BCCI had also given this honor to Sachin Tendulkar's number 10 jersey. In the year 2017, Sachin's number 10 jersey was also retired forever.