Lionel Messi takes over from Andres Iniesta as Barcelona captain

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As if the football calender was created to give everyone a boost, Barça's first official match of the season in Tangier tomorrow offers Lionel Messi a special challenge: to become Barcelona's captain and potentially make the Spanish Super Cup his 33rd trophy for the club.

And Barcelona announced on Friday that Messi will be the first of four captains for the new campaign, along with Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.

Lionel Messi has been named as Barcelona's new captain for the 2018/19 season.

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Messi has had the role of the second captain since 2015 and he will follow in the footsteps of club legends Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Iniesta.

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. One of the most talented players to come out of La Masia, Sergio has been one of the captains since 2014/15. Roberto, meanwhile, did not become a senior squad member full time until 2013 but made his debut in 2010 in the Copa del Rey and his first Champions League appearance against Real Madrid in the 2011-12 semifinals, thereby representing the club earlier than Jordi Alba. The forward, Barca's all-time record goalscorer with 552 in all competitions, already wears the armband for the Argentina.