The Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla is a game of particular significance for Leo Messi: if the new Barcelona captain finds himself on the winning side in Tangiers he will become the most successful player in Camp Nou history by lifting a 33rd career trophy with the club.
Messi, who will don the captain’s armband for the first time after the departure of Andrés Iniesta to Vissel Kobe during the summer, will also overtake the midfield maestro as the player with the most titles for Barcelona. Iniesta racked up an impressive 32 during his 16 seasons at the club, the same number that the Argentina captain has amassed since making his competitive debut in 2004.
The 31-year-old has won four Champions League titles, nine Ligas, three Club World Cups, six Copas del Rey, three European Super Cups and seven Spanish Super Cups during his 14-season Barça career, serving under Franck Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique before current manager Ernesto Valverde assumed the reins at Camp Nou last summer.
Zarra in Messi's sights in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo
With former captains Xavi and Iniesta, the architects of Barça’s tiki-taka years of domestic and European hegemony, now departed Messi will be the undisputed leader of the side in 2018-19 as Valverde seeks to build on last season’s domestic double by regaining the Champions League crown from Real Madrid.
Last season at club level Messi played 54 times, scoring 45 goals and winning the Golden Boot for a record fifth time. This season, with few domestic records left to smash, Messi will have the opportunity to establish himself as the finest goalscorer in Liga history by matching Telmo Zarra’s mark of six Pichichi awards while five more league hat-tricks will take him past Cristiano Ronaldo in that respect.