Joao Felix was a marquee addition for Barcelona during the summer transfer window, but did he ask to take Lionel Messi’s old No.10 shirt?
The Portugal international made no secret of the fact that it was his dream to move to Camp Nou when interest from Catalunya was first speculated on. That did not go down well at Atletico Madrid, but a loan switch was eventually sanctioned that includes a permanent purchase option.
Felix struggled to make the expected impact at Atleti on the back his €126 million (£108m/$135m) switch from Benfica in 2019 and spent the second-half of last season on loan at Chelsea. Barca are hoping to help the 23-year-old rediscover his spark, but he does not want to take centre stage with the reigning La Liga champions.
With that in mind, SPORT claims that Felix made no play for the No.10 shirt at Barcelona – and was not offered it either. That jersey was freed up on the back of Ansu Fati’s loan move to Brighton. It will, however, be forever associated with seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.
Felix wanted to avoid being compared with former favourites and wants to prove his worth to Barca fans without added pressure on his shoulders – with the decision taken to take No.14 instead. The Blaugrana are happy with that choice as they are still hoping to see La Masia