Javier Mascherano has been named as one of the Barcelona captains for the new season after a vote among the players.
Xavi Hernandez’s move to Al Sadd created a vacancy among the Barca players’ leadership and with Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets all moving up a place, a fourth was required.
Mundo Deportivo say the vote was essentially between Masche and Gerard Pique, as Pedro Rodriguez, a long-serving player, is set to leave for Manchester United.
Dani Alves wasn’t in the voting pool because, at the time it became clear Xavi was to leave, the right-back was expected to go as well.
Pique had previously spoken of his desire to be a Barca captain but Mascherano had the backing of Luis Enrique, who had praised the Argentine’s leadership qualities, but wasn’t part of the vote, which was restricted to players.
Enrique told a pre-Joan Gamper Trophy Press conference that he was ‘happy’ with the choice of Mascherano.