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Messi succeeds Iniesta, named new FC Barcelona captain



FC Barcelona on Friday named Argentina ’ s Lionel Messi the club ’ s captain , following the departure of long -serving midfielder Andres Iniesta .Defenders Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto were also named new vice – captains in a statement by the La Liga champions .

Messi , Barca ’ s all -time top goalscorer , has been a vice – captain since 2015 .

The Argentina captain takes the club ’ s armband from Iniesta , who succeeded Xavi Hernandez as captain in 2015 but left for Japanese club Vissel Kobe in June .

Midfielder Sergio Busquets was named first vice -captain , followed by Pique , who has been at FC 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 .

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 .

( Reuters / NAN )