Sergio Aguero has revealed that he refused to take Lionel Messi’s No.10 shirt while talking up the talents of Barcelona team-mate Ansu Fati.
Aguero joined Barca on a free transfer following his departure from Manchester City at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, and was initially expected to link up with fellow Argentina international Messi at Camp Nou.
However, that scenario never materialised as the Blaugrana saw Messi leave amid their struggles to reduce their crippling wage bill, and Aguero has now admitted that he turned down the chance to inherit his compatriot’s highly-coveted jersey.
Aguero could have joined Messi on a list of Barca legends to have worn the No.10 shirt alongside the likes of Ronaldinho and Diego Maradona, but he instead opted to stick with the same number he wears for Argentina.
Ansu was then given the honour of following in the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s footsteps , and Aguero thinks he is a much better fit, telling a press conference: “I chose number 19 because it was available, and I wear it with the Argentina national team.
“The players asked me to take the No.10, but I refused. In fact, the No.10 looks good on Ansu Fati.”
Ansu has emerged as one of the most exciting young players in Europe since breaking into Barca’s senior team in 2019, and is reportedly on the verge of signing a new five-year contract at Camp Nou.
Aguero has been impressed by what he’s seen from the 18-year-old, and has vowed to continue trying to aid his development as he matures with age.
“Ansu is still a young player and it is difficult to stay at a high level all the time,” he said. “As experienced players, we do our best to help the youngsters. Ansu has a lot of talent and he trains a lot. We are fortunate that he is in Barcelona.”
Aguero missed the start of the 2021-22 campaign due to a serious calf injury , but finally made his Barca debut in a 3-1 La Liga win against Valencia at the weekend.
The former City frontman could be in line for his first start when Ronald Koeman’s side play host to Dynamo Kyiv in a must-win Champions League group-stage clash on Wednesday night.