Birmingham City proved that the threshold for retiring a shirt number is frightfully low when they retired Jude Bellingham’s number 22 shirt in the summer, but you would have to think that retiring Diego Maradona’s shirt number might make sense.
A report from The Express has indicated that Maradona’s son has urged Lionel Messi to give up the number 10 shirt for club and country, although he did stop short of echoing Andre Villas Boas’ calls for the entire sport to retire the famous number.
While it would be a magnificent gesture, there’s also an argument to be made that Messi wearing the number 10 is actually the perfect tribute to the great man, so he should continue to do so.
Argentine wonderkids were christened the “next Maradona” until Messi came along, but now they are likened to him and he’s more than lived up to his billing as Maradona’s successor.
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Messi hasn’t responded to these suggestions yet but it’s hard to see it happening, while the Barca number 10 has a magnificent history when you consider the other players who have worn it.
Pep Guardiola, Romario, Rivaldo, Riquelme and Ronaldinho have also added to the history of the shirt, so it makes sense to keep it going rather than retire it completely.
Messi has already made some grand tributes to his former manager and idol, but he should continue to wear the number 10 in tribute rather than giving it up.