Messi named new Barcelona captain

Andres Iniesta Lionel Messi Barcelona 2017-18

The Argentine 31-year-old takes over the role following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

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.

Busquets was once said to be former manager Pep Guardiola's first name on the team-sheet during his tenure on the helm of the club.

And 637 appearances later he has become one of the most iconic players in their history with 552 goals, nine La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.

Another candidate for one of the captaincies, Alba joined Barcelona from Valencia in 2012 having been released by the Camp Nou earlier in his career due to his height.

Messi will be the primary captain for the new season, but Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergio Roberto will share the responsibility when needed.

Roberto takes over as the fourth captain, filling the gap left by Messi's worldwide team-mate Javier Mascherano following his move to Hebei China Fortune in January. 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.

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