Messi and Ronaldinho are known to have a close relationship, with the Argentine previously thanking the Brazil star for taking him under his wing when he first entered the Barcelona changing room.

“He was a great help. It’s never easy to go into a changing room at the age of 16 especially with my character,” Messi told the Barcelona website in 2013.

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And the four-time Ballon d’Or winner has now revealed in an interview with Barca TV that the Brazilian encouraged Messi to take on the iconic number 10 shirt at Barcelona.

"Before leaving the club [Ronaldinho] was coming off a few months where he was thinking about things," Messi said.

"He had it in his mind that he was leaving and he told me to have his number. I took it without looking at what he had done with the shirt. If I did, I would not have taken it."

Of course it was Ronaldinho who assisted Messi's first ever Liga goal, as can be seen below.

Messi has scored 440 - 292 of which have come in the league - in 524 appearances so it is fair to say he has probably earned it.

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