Lionel Messi rejected Neymar’s offer to don the No10 shirt for Paris Saint-Germain as he sets out on making a lasting legacy with the No30.
While the first 11 numbers have traditionally been reserved for each club’s top stars, an array of players have struck up an identity with unusual alternatives over the years.
David Beckham’s No23 became a trademark shirt number through his time at Real Madrid and LA Galaxy.
According to The Sun, Terry made the No26 his own at Chelsea, as did Jamie Carragher and the No23 at Liverpool, while Manchester City fans will no doubt link the No42 shirt with Yaya Toure for years to come.
Messi was, as reported by Marca, given the option of keeping the No10 he wore for the majority of his career at Barcelona.
Close friend and old Camp Nou pal Neymar is said to have offered his number to the Argentine ahead of his arrival.
But Messi turned him down and opted for an old favourite.
The 34-year-old made his competitive Barcelona debut against Espanyol in 2004 with the No30 on his back.
He kept the number for his first two seasons in the Catalans’ first-team before moving to No19 for a couple of years.
The No19 was reportedly offered to Messi by PSG but he will now have a chance to build a legacy around the No30 – with the club also able to think up plenty of merchandise based on the number.
Over the past two decades, it has largely been held by reserve goalkeepers and therefore is open to be exclusively linked with the Argentine.
During Messi’s early years in the Barcelona team, Ronaldinho held the No10 and the Brazilian personally requested that the superstar take the prestigious shirt when he left in 2008.
Ronaldinho has previously called for the number to be retired after the striker leaves Barcelona.
But LaLiga rules demand each club’s 25-man squad be handed the shirts numbered 1 to 25, meaning any retirement would leave them a man short.
Upon signing for PSG, Messi said: “I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here. I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans.”