The legendary 34-year-old signed a three-year contract with Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe after 16 unprecedented seasons with Barcelona where he won 33 trophies, making him the most decorated Spanish player in history.
And Barcelona announced on Friday that Messi will be the first of four captains for the new campaign, along with Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi eyes the ball during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) final football match Sevilla FC against FC Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on April 21, 2018.
Although Iniesta has obviously won more titles at global level, both he and Messi have identical club records: 9 LaLiga titles, 6 Copa del Reys, 4 Champions Leagues, 3 Club World Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups and 7 Spanish Super Cups.More news: Two Infected With West Nile Virus In First Cases Of 2018
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Utility player Sergio Roberto becomes the fourth captain, taking over from Javier Mascherano, who left the club in January.
Messi, Barca's all-time top goalscorer, has been a vice-captain since 2015. It's the first time Pique has been named a vice-captain at the club.
It is the first time since the 2014-15 season that all the club's four captains have come through the club's famous La Masia youth academy.