Lionel Messi's First Speech As Barcelona Captain Is Brilliant
Andres Iniesta leaving Barcelona left rather a big hole for the Catalans to fill. As long as having a place in the midfield they needed a new captain but when you've got Lionel Messi in your side then there's a ready made replacement.
Football has a strange obsession with who the captain is going to be, considering it really doesn't seem to matter who wears the armband.
It's not like cricket or rugby where the on pitch captain has to make a lot of decisions whilst the coach sits in his comfy seat indoors and nowhere near the pitch. In football the manager is mere meters from any big decision.
But with every passing new England manager starts the process of spending months deciding who will be the new captain. Usually with all the boredom of giving each candidate a game with the armband and none of the excitement of a fight to the death.
Barcelona didn't exactly need that kind of rigmarole to find their next captain once Andres Iniesta moved to Japanese side Vissel Kobe because the obvious choice was just giving Messi the job, and that's what the did.
At the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Boca Juniors on Wednesday evening the Argentina forward gave a brilliant speech to the crowd telling them they would be hoping to bring the Champions League back to the Camp Nou:
Barca won La Liga back last season in Ernesto Valverde's first season as manager of the club and nearly made history by becoming the first team to go the La Liga season undefeated. They came very close, losing the penultimate game of the season.
The Catalan giants completed the domestic double by also winning the Copa del Rey, beating Sevilla in the final.
But despite all the domestic success they had to watch as fierce rivals Real Madrid won the Champions League for the third time in a row.
In those three years Barca have been pretty disappointing in the competition and only managed to reach the quarter finals each time. Last season they were knocked out by Roma with the Italians winning the second leg 3-0 to overturn a 4-1 deficit.
It would take a fool to rule Barca and Messi out of winning the Champions League this season.