Lionel Messi wore the No.10 for the first time as a Paris Saint-Germain player last night in the Coupe de France penalty shoot-out defeat to Nice.
Having joined PSG on a free transfer in the summer, Messi reverted back to the No.30, the number he debuted with at Barcelona back in 2004.
There was talk that close friend and teammate Neymar had offered to give Messi the iconic No.10 shirt but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner politely declined the gesture.
Last night, however, Messi was back wearing his most familiar number.
In the Coupe de France, France’s main cup competition, the starting XI must wear the traditional 1-11 numbers – with subs wearing numbers below 25.
And because Neymar was out through injury, the No.10 was free and available for Messi to wear for a one-off.
In old-school fashion, no names were on the back of the shirts for the players during the clash at the Parc des Princes.
The round of 16 tie was a stalemate after extra time and went all the way to penalties, where Nice won 6-5.
Messi took PSG’s first spot-kick and found the net but opposite goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, who is on loan from the Ligue One leaders, saved penalties from Leandro Paredes and Xavi Simons.
Former Bayern Munich defender Dante dinked his penalty down the middle in the highlight of the penalties, which led to Messi’s first ever shoot-out defeat at club level.
PSG’s Angel Di Maria wasn’t available for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as he was with the Argentina national team.
The former Real Madrid man scored in a 2-1 win over Chile on Friday and is set to start the World Cup qualifier against Colombia on Tuesday evening.