Barcelona said goodbye to Andres Iniesta. Not only did they say farewell to one of the world’s greatest ever midfielders, they also lost a respectable captain.
Following the 34 year old’s departure to Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe, the Catalans were left with a task of appointing a new captain for the upcoming season. Barcelona have done the formality and made an announcement about the new captains.
Leo Messi has been appointed as the captain for the new campaign. The Argentina international’s appointment comes as less surprise due to him being second to Andres Iniesta while he was the club.
Most Spanish clubs follow the rule of allowing players who have been serving the club for the longest duration to wear the armband. In Barcelona’s case, Messi who is now 31 has been at the club since he was 13. This means his 18 year old association is longer than anyone else in the roster.
Gerard Pique has been named as vice-captain. The Spaniard has been a leader figure every time for the club. Most clubs shortlist four captains who lead the team in the absence of others. Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto are the third and fourth captains of Barcelona.
Messi’s imminent appointment is in norms with all the conditions that a club takes into consideration. However, the five time Ballon D’or winner’s position has been questioned by a few. The club’s supporters and many football experts were critical of Ernesto Valverde. Messi is no stranger to not being a secure leader in difficult times as has been seen for Argentina on several occasions.
Nevertheless, Leo will be looking to claim his first piece of silverware as Barcelona’s captain on Sunday. He will be certain to take part in the Spanish Super Cup’s one legged fixture against Sevilla in Tangier, Morocco. He will don the armband officially in his own backyard during Barcelona’s match against Deportivo Alaves on the opening day of La Liga.