Xavi Names Players Who Could Take Over As Barcelona Captain


Getty Barcelona need a new captain for next season.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has made it clear he has a host of leaders in his current team and is not worried about who will take over the armband from departing captain Sergio Busquets.

The midfielder has confirmed he will walk away from the Camp Nou at the end of the season when his contract with the Catalan giants expires. Xavi has been asked which players could take over the role at a press conference and had a long list of suggestions.

“It’s not something I’m worried about. I have various types of leaders. Everyone is a leader in some way,” he told reporters. “Ter Stegen is a great leader, Araujo, Kounde, Gavi could be a Barca captain, Pedri as well. Lewandowski is a captain without the armband, Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba. There’s a lot of players who have this leadership ability and can stand up and be captain at any moment.”

Center-back Araujo has been tipped to go on and become a future Barcelona captain, by Radio Marca’s Alejandro Segur, and has said it would be “tremendous” to take over the captaincy in an interview with Diario Sport.

Barcelona name four captains at the start of every season. Busquets was named first captain at the start of the current campaign along with Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto. Ter Stegen took over from Pique after he retired in November.

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What About Lionel Messi?

Another player who could be in the frame to be captain next season is Lionel Messi. The former skipper is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has been heavily linked with a return to the Camp Nou.

Barcelona’s perilous financial situation means a move will be difficult for the Catalan giants, and Xavi offered an update on the situation regarding the club’s former No. 10.

“Everything is up in the air. It depends on a lot of things. I can’t say much else. He’s a spectacular player,” he said. “He’s someone I am good friends with. It depends on a lot of different cases and the intention of Leo.”

Messi took over the captain’s armband on a permanent basis at the start of the 2018-29 season after Andres Iniesta left the club for Vissel Kobe. The Argentina international skippered the club until his shock departure for PSG in the summer of 2021.

Robert Lewandowski Wants Lionel Messi Back

Top scorer Robert Lewandowski is also in the frame for the captain’s job and wears the armband for the Poland national team. He has spoken out about the possible return of Messi and is hoping a deal can be reached.

The striker told journalist Tomasz Wlodarczyk that he is hoping to get the chance to play with Messi for the first time in his career if the World Cup winner returns in the summer.

“I would like to play with him here. He has changed his style in recent years. It’s easier to play with players who understand football as deeply as he does,” he said. “Leo’s style of play has evolved in recent years,” Lewandowski continued. “He thinks differently, positions himself differently on the field, plays the ball differently. He has a unique sense. We would definitely use him.”

Messi’s father Jorge has put out a statement on social media on his son’s future and insisted no decision will be made until the end of the current campaign.

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