Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona vs Sevilla: Lionel Messi, donning the new captain’s armband, will be looking to overhaul Andres Iniesta’s record of most titles with Barcelona.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, celebrates after scoring the second goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday |Photo Credit: AP
New Delhi: Newly-announced Barcelona captain Lionel Messi will look to add yet another record to his name when the Spanish giants will take on Sevilla FC in Tangier for the Spanish Super Cup. If Barcelona wins the game, Messi will add his 33rd trophy for the club, hence surpassing former teammate Andres Iniesta, on 32, who is currently playing for Vissel Kobe in the Japanese League after quitting Barca.
Iniesta and Messi have almost identical number titles for Barcelona since the duo’s first league trophy in the 2004-05 season – 9 La Liga titles, 6 Copa del Reys, 4 Champions Leagues, 3 Club World Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups and 7 Spanish Super Cups. However, Iniesta has more career titles than Messi with the midfield maestro winnings two Euro Cup trophies and World Cup 2010 with Spain as against a nil for the Argentine.
Messi is now just a win away from surpassing Iniesta’s record tally with the Catalan club, that would put him six away from two of his present teammate Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, who have won 27 trophies with Barcelona.
Earlier on Saturday, Messi was announced as the new captain of Barcelona after the former incumbent, Iniesta left for Japanese Super League. The club confirmed: “The No.10 (Messi) who filled the role of second captain since 2015 will this season be the team’s captain, a title that has shone over this past decade on the arms of other club legends like Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta.”
The Spanish Super Cup match will be Messi’s first since the horrendous end of Argentina’s campaign in FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, where the 2014 runners-up were knocked out in the round of 16 against France. The eventual champions had defeated them 4-3 at the Kazan Arena.