Lionel Messi will captain Barcelona this season with Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto acting as the Argentine legend’s lieutenants, the club announced on Friday.
Messi will lead Barca out in the Spanish SuperCup on Sunday against Sevilla in the Moroccan port of Tangier.
The club confirmed: “The No.10 (Messi) who filled the role of second captain since 2015 will this season be the team’s captain, a title that has shone over this past decade on the arms of other club legends like Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta.”
Five time Ballon d’Or winner Messi returns to club football in Spain after scoring just once in Argentina’s chaotic and disappointing World Cup campaign.
Messi succeeds Andrés Iniesta, who has left to Japanese club Vissel Kobe. The former Barça 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.
The second captain will be Sergio. For the coming 2018/19 season, the midfielder will be second in line after 10 seasons with the first team. One of the most talented players to come out of La Masia, Sergio has been one of the captains since 2014/15.
Gerard Piqué becomes one of the quartet of captains, third in line, just before the 10th anniversary of his debut for the first team.
Completing the foursome is Sergi Roberto, who takes over the role from the departed Javier Mascherano. The Catalan player, a member of the first team squad since 2013, continues to establish himself as a key part of the current FC Barcelona squad.