Messi to add insult to injury for Ansu Fati

Tom Hancock
  • 29 Mar 2023 16:47 BST
  • 3 min read
Lionel Messi, The Best 2023

Lionel Messi will reclaim Barcelona’s number 10 shirt should he make a sensational return to the Camp Nou this summer, in a possible further blow to Ansu Fati.

Messi is out of contract at PSG this summer, and it remains to be seen whether Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain will extend his stay with the Ligue 1 giants.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, 35, has been linked with a move back to Barca more or less ever since he left two years ago – when the club’s financial crisis meant they couldn’t afford to keep their biggest star.

READ: Father of ‘Lionel Messi’s heir’ launches savage attack on Barcelona

According to Spanish journalist Cristina Cubero, were Messi to re-join Barcelona, he would take back the number 10 shirt currently worn by Ansu.

Such reports are bound to only add to the sense that Ansu isn’t valued by Barca – as has been vociferously claimed by the 20-year-old’s father.

Speaking to COPE, Bori Fati said: “Ask Xavi why he’s not playing Ansu. I don’t have any answer. Xavi wants him to work hard, and he is. I feel disappointed as a father.”

Ansu has made 96 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 25 goals

Ansu has made 96 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 25 goals

Failing to live up to expectations

Ansu burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old back in 2019 and has previously been billed as the heir to Messi – but the forward has yet to fully live up to his immense potential.

And the Spain international has found his opportunities limited this season: he’s made just nine league starts (although he should end the campaign as a LaLiga champion for the first time as Barcelona run away with the Spanish title).

Ansu inherited the number 10 shirt from Messi ahead of the 2021/22 season, having spent nine months on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury.