Lionel Messi named new Barcelona captain

Barcelona have named Lionel Messi as their new captain following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Vissel Kobe. The Argentina international has acted as the club’s standing skipper on many occasions in the past but he has now been handed the permanent captaincy ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

A statement released by Barcelona read: “Lionel Messi will be the first captain. The Argentine takes over the role following the departure of Andrés Iniesta to Japanese club Vissel Kobe. The former Barca midfielder had the job from the 2015/16 season when he took over from Xavi, who in turn had inherited the position from the retired Carles Puyol.”

Meanwhile, based on the seniority at the club, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto have been named the second, third and fourth-choice captains respectively and the trio could showcase their leadership qualities next season, should Ernesto Valverde decide to rotate the first-team squad on occasions.

“Barcelona kickstart their campaign with a Spanish Super Cup game against Sevillaand the clash “is expected to involve a single game rather than a double-legged tie. Moreover, the Spanish authorities have scheduled the “clash in Tangier, Morocco “ and the game itself should create history with the contest moving out of Spain for the first-time ever.

Shortly after the game, Barcelona return to Catalonia for their annual Joan Gamper Trophy where they are scheduled to face Argentine champions Boca Juniors. Thereafter, the Catalan giants prepare themselves for the season opener against Alaves, who have previously beaten them at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona have made meaningful business this summer with Clement Lenglet, Malcom, Arthur and Arturo Vidal brought to add more quality within the squad and it will be interesting to see whether they can go all the way in the Champions League, where they have been playing second fiddle to Real Madrid over the past three seasons.