Barca names new captain following Iniesta departure

Messi Busquets Pique y Sergi Roberto son los nuevos capitanes

Messi Busquets Pique y Sergi Roberto son los nuevos capitanes

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

The Argentina global takes over from Iniesta following his move to Vissel Kobe in the J League at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

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

The Spain midfielder appeared to symbolically hand over the captain's armband to Messi towards the end of his final Clasico appearance against Real Madrid in May.

Messi will be hopeful of lifting his first trophy as captain on Sunday as Ernesto Valverde's side take on Sevilla in the Spanish Supercopa.

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And with silverware having again evaded his grasp at global level during the World Cup, the five-time Ballon d'Or victor will be keen to be lifting more trophies over the next 12 months.

Roberto's elevation is in spite of his only being a first team regular for three seasons.

Barcelona have decided upon their captains for the season ahead after Andres Iniesta left at the start of the summer, and Javier Mascherano departed in January.

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.

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