The next big question is who takes over the No. 10 shirt with Lionel Messi’s departure, and there are a few candidates: Sergio Agüero is the obvious one even though he takes number 19 for the Gamper, but Philippe Coutinho and Memphis Depay might also get in the running for the most iconic jersey in the sport based on their previous stops.
Barcelona and Juventus meet on Sunday in a prestigious clash for the Joan Gamper Trophy, the traditional curtain raiser ahead of La Liga and Serie A’s kick-offs. The trophy is in honor of a founding member and former player as well as president and has been running since 1966.
Juve won this back in 2005, one of just three sides to do so since 1997, but Barca have won it on the last eight occasions. The clash was supposed to be an indicator as to how these two teams are shaping up ahead of their respective seasons and a place for Lionel Messi to announce his Camp Nou renewal. Instead, the attention has shifted toward the financial state of Barcelona as a club after bidding farewell to Lionel Messi on Thursday in a move that sent shockwaves around the world.
The big one is Riqui Puig taking over the No. 6 shirt after wearing No. 12 last season. The number 6 is an iconic one at Barça and Puig, polarizing as he seems to be these days, has the honor of wearing Xavi’s number and will hope to become the next great small Barça midfielder.
Barcelona prepare for a start to life after Lionel Messi this weekend as they host Juventus in the Joan Gamper trophy on Sunday. Both teams have impressive players in their ranks and have a point to prove this weekend. Juventus are also in a period of transition at the moment and have been well below their best over the past year. The Bianconeri failed to keep their Serie A crown last season and will need to step up to the plate this year. Barcelona, on the other hand, have endured a tumultuous few years and Lionel Messi’s shock departure may well be the knock-out blow. The Blaugrana are reeling at the moment and have a massive statement of intent to make in this fixture.