17 Nov

Lionel Messi becomes new Barcelona captain ahead of La Liga 2018/19

first_imgLionel Messi was announced as the new captain of FC Barcelona on Friday after the long-serving midfielder Andres Iniesta departed to J-League ahead of the season.In a statement issued by the La Liga champions, Messi has now been handed over the role of a captain while midfielder Sergio Busquets and defenders Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are the new vice-captains.Messi, who is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, became the vice-captain of the club in 2015 when Iniesta succeeded Xavi Hernandez as the club’s captain.Midfielder Sergio Busquets was named first vice-captain, followed by Pique, who has been at 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, despite only being a first team regular for three seasons.It is the first time since the 2014-15 season that all the club’s four captains have come through the club’s famous La Masia youth academy.Messi recently featured in the shortlist for the best forward award in Champions League 2017-18, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.Messi scored six goals in the past season’s Champions League as Barcelona finished quarter-finalists.Messi is coming off a disastrous 2018 FIFA World Cup with Argentina when he scored only once and Argentina were knocked out in the Round of 16 by eventual champions France.Barcelona will begin their La Liga title defence against Alaves on August 19.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more