Lionel Messi named as Barcelona’s captain after Andres Iniesta’s departurehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/football/la-liga/lionel-messi-named-as-barcelonas-captain-after-andres-iniestas-departure-5302087/

Lionel Messi named as Barcelona’s captain after Andres Iniesta’s departure

Lionel Messi, who has earlier led Barcelona in Iniesta's absence will officially hold the mantle after the midfielder moved to Japan to play for Vissel Kobe.

Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi ran the midfield for Barcelona against Juventus in the first UEFA Champions League game. (Source: AP)

Football club Barcelona on Saturday confirmed Lionel Messi will replace Andres Iniesta as the club’s captain for the upcoming season. Lionel Messi, who has earlier led Barcelona in Iniesta’s absence will officially hold the mantle after the midfielder moved to Japan to play for Vissel Kobe. Andres Iniesta was named as the club’s captain in 2015 when Xavi Hernandez joined Qatari club Al Sadd.

The club further named Sergio Busquets as the club’s second captain, a role previously held by Messi. The third and the fourth captain spot, which have opened up due to Iniesta and Javier Mascherano’s departure, will be filled by Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.

Sergio Roberto recently led the Barca youth side during their pre-season tour of the United States. The Spanish midfielder, who made his debut back in 2010 under Pep Guardiola has now made over 200 first team appearances.

All the four players have risen through club’s La Masia youth academy. Pique, who played for Manchester United and on loan at Real Zaragoza, is the only one among the four to play league matches away from Camp Nou.

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Barcelona will play the Super Cup match against Sevilla on Monday night. They will open their La Liga campaign against Alaves next Sunday on August 19.