Barcelona unable to retire Lionel Messi’s iconic shirt due to La Liga rules

Barcelona will be unable to give Lionel Messi the honour of retiring his shirt number following his emotional exit from the club.

Messi is poised to join Paris Saint-Germain after his departure from Barca was confirmed by the club on Thursday.

The 34-year-old was forced to leave because La Liga's financial restrictions made it impossible for Barcelona to renew his deal after it expired at the end of June.

Messi has spent his entire senior career with the Spanish giants but has been forced to look for a new club, with Barca facing a financial crisis.

PSG club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi swooped, offering to pay the Argentina international a signing-on fee of £21million (€25m) and has a two-year contract with a net salary of £21m per year, according toThe Athletic.

Barcelona did not want to lose their iconic forward and, even having done so, are staring at a looming financial blackhole, with their wage bill still well above La Liga’s benchmark.

The Catalan club are desperately trying to offload high earners like Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho because they are unable to register new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia.

And, while it is understandably not top of the club’s agenda right now, they also cannot commemorate Messi by keeping his number 10 shirt untouched.

Many clubs have retired shirt numbers in honour of legendary players over the years, but Barca do not have that option.

Could anyone wear Lionel Messi's No 10 shirt at Barcelona, or should the club keep it empty? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

That’s because, once again, La Liga rules are getting in the way.Marcareports that the Spanish top flight does not allow such a move, meaning one day someone may have to be brave enough to don the iconic shirt.

Messi, who had the shirt since 2008, is far from the only Barcelona legend to have worn it, either: previous occupants include Brazilians Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

When he does seal his move to PSG, Messi won’t have many choices for his shirt number.

His former Barcelona team-mate and good friend Neymar currently wears the No 10 shirt for the French side, while Mauro Icardi (No 9), Kylian Mbappe (No 7) and Angel Di Maria (No 11) have some other classics locked down.

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