He normally wears No. 10, so why is the seven-time Ballon dOr winner sporting a different number in France?

Lionel Messi dons an unfamiliar number – No. 30 – at Paris Saint-Germain, despite becoming synonymous with the No. 10 for both Barcelona and Argentina for over a decade.

There were reports that friend and team-mate Neymar had offered Messi the chance to wear No. 10, but he is said to have turned down the offer.

Instead, the seven-time Ballon dOr winner took a number which was already available, but why did he go for No. 30? GOAL takes a look.

Lionel Messi debuted and scored his first ever professional senior goal with the No. 30 on his Barcelona jersey, so the number has sentimental significance to him.

In the 82nd minute of a derby match between Barcelona and Espanyol in 2004, a 17-year-old Messi would come on in place of Deco, where he displayed a promising cameo for the Camp Nou faithful.

Messi went on to wear the No. 30 for his first two seasons in the Barcelona first team, in 2004-05 & 2005-06, making 34 appearances and scoring 9 goals.

He also took on the No. 19 for the two seasons which followed, before eventually inheriting the iconic No. 10 from Ronaldinho.

Camiseta com dedicatoria do amigo e grande jogador Leo Messi! Olhem o detalhe no https://t.co/sPkSkzo0vR pic.twitter.com/WkrelFS3R7

Those not familiar with Coupe de Francetraditions may be surprised to learn that Messi did indeed sport the No. 10 for PSG.

The Coupe de France maintains a tradition where, once you reach the knockout stages of the competition, the starting players must only wear numbers 1-11.

And so, in January 2022, in a round of 16 tie between PSG and Nice, Messi was given the No. 10 shirt, a number usually occupied by Neymar, as he started the game while the Brazilian was absent.

Tonight’s starting 1⃣1⃣ for the Nice game! ???? #CDF | #PSGOGCN pic.twitter.com/YWH8R6b4nv

However it was not to be a happy return for Messi to his notorious No. 10 shirt, as PSG crashed out of the competition, losing 6-5 on penalties.

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