“No. 10 is a Very Special Number…” – Recalling Diego Maradona’s Heroics, Lionel Messi Reveals The Significance Of No. 10 To Argentinians

Published 11/09/2023, 9:28 PM EST

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Lionel Messi holds profound admiration for his legendary compatriot, Diego Maradona. Argentina achieved historic feats in soccer thanks to the illustrious performances of their very own legend, early in his career. Decades later, La Pulga emphasized the significance of the iconic #10 shirt that inspired every Argentine’s soccer dream. While speaking about his compatriot, he paid tribute to his glorious career and emphasized that every youngster desired to be like him!

The soccer icon left an indelible mark on Argentina with his individual brilliance, particularly during the 1986 World Cup. Maradona led the squad in the tournament at 25 years of age, tallying five goals and five assists.

What did Lionel Messi remark about Diego Maradona’s No. 10 jersey?


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As soccer fans, we all know the significance of the #10 shirt. Over the years, some of the greatest names in the sport have worn that number and Diego Maradona is one of them. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, however, his legacy will be remembered for decades. In a recent interview, Lionel Messi honored the soccer icon and his career. He said, “For us Argentinians, the no. 10 is a very special number because you talk about no.10 and automatically, Maradona comes to your mind. Those of us who grew up playing football wanted to be like him”. 

He continued, “Although no one was able to be like him, that was our dream and desire”. Lionel Messi surely inched near to Diego Maradona’s excellence in the iconic #10 shirt after lifting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In the same interview, the Argentine also expressed his disappointment after missing out on the iconic number during his tenure at Paris Saint-Germain.


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The Argentine missed having ‘his number’ at PSG


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Over the years, Lionel Messi has become closely associated with the #10, following in the footsteps of Maradona while starring for both Argentina and Barcelona. He showcased his goal-scoring prowess in this shirt, netting over 800 goals. However, the veteran’s jersey number was taken by Neymar, when he signed for PSG in 2021. Messi opted for the #30 shirt throughout his two-year stint with the Ligue 1 side.

The Inter Miami star expressed his desire to have the #10 jersey at PSG, but he then made a compromise. He said, “When I was in Paris, I didn’t wear the number 10 shirt. Although it wasn’t a big deal, I kind of missed a little not having ‘my number’, right? Because I have worn it all my life, but it’s ok, then I got used to it.”


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Notably, Messi has yet again donned his renowned #10 shirt with the Herons this season, following his arrival on American soil. How do you remark on the Argentine’s regard for Diego Maradona? Comment and let us know.

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Written by:

Prabuddha Basu


One take at a time

Prabuddha is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. Growing up watching the sagacious Manchester United where legends like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes shone, Prabuddha has been an admirer of the EPL giants, and looks forward to the new era stars like Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford as the torch bearers. Keen follower of the game, he values weaving his articles with facts, analysis and captivating narratives.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz