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Barcelona confirm captains after Messi’s exit

Jordi Alba becomes the fourth captain

FC Barcelona v Juventus - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona have confirmed the club’s four captains for the 2021-22 season following Lionel Messi’s departure from the club.

The armband now goes to Sergio Busquets with Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba the other three club captains.

Messi’s exit means Alba makes the step up and becomes fourth captain. The full-back was apparently in contention with Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the job until the German goalkeeper pulled out.

Busquets has already undertaken the captain’s job of addressing fans before kick-off at the Gamper Trophy. The Spain international told supporters it was “an honor” to take the Barca armband.

“It’s an honor to arrive here as first team captain of the best club in the world. I’ve had great examples like Puyol, Xavi and Leo. I will try to be up to standard. I want to have a special memory for Leo,” he said.

“Thanks for taking Barca to the top, making history. Being the best in the world and beating all individual and collective records. We wish you the best. Eternal thanks, Leo. Finally. a new season begins, with great enthusiasm and ambition. We fight for all the fans and we do it with you. We need you more than ever.”

Barcelona will play in front of supporters again on Sunday when the team opens up against Real Sociedad.

The Catalans have confirmed that 29,803 spectators will be allowed into the Camp Nou for the game. It’s the first time in 17 months that Barca will play in front of fans in their own ground.