Barcelona players elect Andres Iniesta as new captain

Barcelona have announced that Andres Iniesta will succeed Xavi as club captain.

Lionel Messi will be second captain for the 2015-16 season after hitting 56 goals in 56 games last season.

Sergio Busquets is third in line, with Javier Mascherano fourth.

The appointments were made following a secret ballot amongst the playing staff, who voted for Iniesta to lead them this season.

The results have been formally announced by the club but will now need to be approved by Luis Enrique and his coaching staff.

Gerard Pique was fourth-captain last season, but he has been replaced by Argentina international Mascherano, who has been named among the skippers for the first time since joining the club in 2010.

Iniesta is now the longest-serving player at Camp Nou, having made his debut in the October 2002 Champions League game away to Bruges.

“Above all it is a very special responsibility to represent not only the team but much more: the kit, the club image,” Iniesta told Mundo Deportivo last week.

“Becoming the first team captain it is something very special, especially for people who have spent so much time at the club.

“In the same way that all people are different, I don’t think there is an exact model of a captain. Everyone is different and communicate things in their own way.”