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Barcelona (Spain) – FC Barcelona on Friday named Argentina’s Lionel Messi the club’s captain, following the departure of long-serving midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Defenders Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto were also named new vice-captains in a statement by the La Liga champions. Messi, Barca’s all-time top goalscorer, has been a vice-captain since 2015.
The Argentina captain takes the club’s armband from Iniesta, who succeeded Xavi Hernandez as captain in 2015 but left for Japanese club Vissel Kobe in June. Midfielder Sergio Busquets was named first vice-captain, followed by Pique, who has been at FC Barcelona since 2008. It’s the first time Pique has been named a vice-captain at the club. Academy graduate Roberto took the final position, vacated by Javier Mascherano who left earlier this year for Chinese outfit Hebei China Fortune. Roberto’s elevation is in spite of his only being a first team regular for three seasons. It is the first time since the 2014/2015 season that all the club’s four captains have come through the club’s famous La Masia youth academy.