Messi succeeds Iniesta as Barcelona captain
Lionel Messi has been named as the new captain of Barcelona following Andres Iniesta’s departure from Camp Nou.
The Argentina international, who already wears the armband for his country, takes over from Iniesta following his move to Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Messi has skippered the Blaugrana on numerous occasions before having been the official vice-captain since 2015, but will now lead the Liga champions out on a permanent basis.
Sergio Busquets takes over as vice-captain while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto have joined the four-man leadership team, with the quartet all having come through La Masia before graduating to the first-team.
Messi will be hopeful of lifting his first trophy as captain on Sunday as Ernesto Valverde’s side take on Sevilla in the Spanish Supercopa.
And with silverware having again evaded his grasp at international level during the World Cup, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be keen to be lifting more trophies over the next 12 months.
Barca lost just one match on their way to winning La Liga last term, and kick off the new season against Alaves on August 18.
The Catalan outfit also won the Copa del Rey last season, but Messi, in particular, was left disappointed as they crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage to Roma.
Valverde has moved to bolster his squad in a bid to secure more titles, with Malcom, Arthur, Clement Lenglet and Arturo Vidal all now forming part of the dressing room which Messi will be leading for the foreseeable future.
Click here to read the full text by Abdulfatai Ayobami Ibrahim