Lionel Messi will be Barcelona's next captain

Lionel Messi will be Barcelona's next captain

Leo Messi recibió un homenaje por sus 100 goles en Champions con el Barça | BEINSPORTS

The Argentine will inherit the club's armband from Iniesta when the Spaniard leaves for China

In his 14 seasons at Barcelona Messi has known three captains: Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. All three players reached Camp Nou after chasing their dream since being at the youth academy. The three are also reference points of the most glorious era of Barcelona's history.

It can be no coincidence that the best Barça side of all time, the one that has won the most trophies and played the best football, coincided with the leadership of three footballers born in La Masia. Logic invites us to think that the former is the consequence of the latter: success came thinks to the enormous faith shown in homegrown players. 

The legacy of Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta is clear and marks out a path.

The captain's armband, since Messi arrived in Barça's first team, is only the symbol that identifies the Blaugrana project. 

Andres Iniesta is leaving, but his legacy and that of his predecessors will carry on through Messi.

The squad made the Argentine second captain last year in their votes last summer, only behind Iniesta. Behind Leo were Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano, the latter who left the club last January, leaving the fourth captain spot free.

This summer the squad will again vote for its captain and with Iniesta no longer around, Messi will become the owner of the captain's armband, which he will wear on his left arm. No-one can argue  with his ascendency in the squad, his status which has been won on the pitch, which is where he shows his true personality, the place where he feels most comfortable.

The number 10 has become the team's great leader thanks to his football and his influence on the competition.

From next season he should also be the link between the players anda the club's hierarchy, and a spokesperson when there is a crisis that affects the team.

Over the last 14 years he has learned the trade next to three reference points.

And it should not be difficult to keep honouring the figure of captain which Iniesta will leave to him.