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The young sensation was mightily pleased to have donned one of the most famous strips in world football at the weekend.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was given the No. 10 shirt for Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Venezuela last Saturday in what was Diego Maradona’s first competitive game in charge as the coach.

Although he has always maintained that he doesn’t care what number he wears, Messi could not hide his joy at the end of the game when Los Albicelestes capped off a perfect evening with a 4-0 win.

“I’m very happy that Diego give me the No. 10. I will give the two shirts that I used to my mother and my brother,” he told reporters immediately after the match.

He added, “We played very well at times against a defense that was very tight. We created a lot of chances to score and we could have had more. I’m a little tired mainly because of the heat, but otherwise I’m feeling good.”

Messi then looked forward to Wednesday’s game in Bolivia, one that will pose a bigger challenge to Maradona and Argentina.

“I have never played at altitude before and people say it is very difficult. But it is necessary to try and go for the win and to take advantage of Paraguay losing and close the gap at the top,” he concluded.

With Brazil only managing a draw overnight against Ecuador, Argentina have retained second place in the CONMEBOL standings, but they are still four points behind the Paraguayans.   

KS Leong, Goal.com

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