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Andres Iniesta Named Barcelona Captain, Lionel Messi Among 3 Vice-Captains

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2015

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, left, and  Xavi Hernandez lift the trophy after winning the final of the Copa del Rey soccer match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, May 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Andres Iniesta has been installed as captain of Barcelona after a vote among the squad saw the Spaniard nominated to take over the armband from the departed Xavi.

As is now traditional at Barca, he will be assisted by three vice-captains, with Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets being promoted from their previous third and fourth roles, respectively.

Javier Mascherano comes in to fill the vacant fourth skipper's role, the Argentine being elected by his team-mates for the first time in his Barca career, per the club's website.

Iniesta is no stranger to the armband. He skippered the Catalan giants often last season—as an ageing Xavi was regularly sidelined—including in Barca's 3-1 Champions League final triumph against Juventus.

Gerard Pique was perhaps a surprising omission from the captaincy ranks, with the Spaniard having previously expressed a desire to skipper the side, per barcastuff:

Unlike most other clubs, Barca's captain is elected democratically. The players vote for who they wish to see lead them rather than the manager picking a skipper.

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Xavi was installed as captain in such a way last summer following the departure of Carles Puyol.

Iniesta is certainly deserving of the honour, as he has spent his entire senior career at Barcelona, winning seven La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues since making his debut in 2002.

Like Iniesta, Messi and Busquets are both graduates of the Barcelona youth system and are long-term servants to the club.

Meanwhile, 31-year-old Mascherano joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2010 and has proved himself to be a fine leader and an inspiration to the players around him.

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