Barcelona name Lionel Messi new captain to replace Andres Iniesta

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Messi was named Barcelona's second captain in 2015 and, having also skippered Argentina, was the obvious choice to take over from Iniesta.

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.

Messi, 31, joined the club in 2001 and is their record goalscorer.

Argentine captain, Lionel Messi will captain Barcelona this season with Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique acting as his lieutenants.

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From that quartet, the club announced on their official website that Messi will be their first-choice captain with Busquets as vice-captain.

All four of the captains chosen came through the club's La Masia youth academy and only Pique - who had spells with United and on loan at Real Zaragoza - has played senior football away from Camp Nou.

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.

Five time Ballon d'Or victor Messi returns to club football in Spain after scoring just once in Argentina's chaotic and disappointing World Cup campaign.