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Barcelona Name Lionel Messi Captain

Barcelona will have four captains for the 2018-19 season, with Lionel Messi officially taking over the armband from the departed Andres Iniesta.

Iniesta paid a heartfelt farwell to the Nou Camp this summer, moving to Japanese side Vissel Kobe and leaving the captain’s armband up for grabs.

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

All four are graduates from the club’s La Masia academy, and the decision follows when Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Busquets were named club captains in 2014-15.

Roberto replaces Javier Mascherano as the fourth captain, with Pique also in the quartet for the first time as he approaches 10 years in the first team.

Messi’s elevation to captain comes 14 years after he made his senior debut for the club, as a 17-year-old in 2004.

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.

Messi will wear the armband for the first time when Barca face Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.