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Messi reaches his century as Barcelona captain

Messi reaches his century as Barcelona captain

ANDER GILLENEA

AFP

Leo Messi came on for the last half hour in Tuesday night’s 0-2 win over Alavés – and wore the captain’s armband for the 100th time for Barcelona.

Leo Messi reached another career milestone in Vitoria last night, celebrating victory with Barcelona in his 100th match as team captain. Messi started the game on the bench and took to the pitch when Barça had already gone 0-2 up, coming on to replace Ousmane Dembélé on 61 minutes and was immediately handed the skipper’s armband by Sergio Busquets.

Messi in action against Alavés - his 100th game as Barcelona captain

Messi's first game as Barcelona captain

Messi first captained Barça in the Week 29 meeting with Celta de Vigo in on 30 March 2013, because Carles Puyol was out injured. He got on the scoresheet that afternoon at Balaídos but the points were shared after Borja Oubiña hit a late equaliser. Leo wouldn’t skipper the team again until the 2014/15 season under Luis Enrique when he took over captain’s duties for the games against Villarreal, Almería and Eibar. He became vice-captain to Andrés Iniesta ahead of the 2015/16 season and was promoted to become the team’s first captain at the start of this season following Iniesta’s move to Vissel Kobe in May last year.

Messi and Carles Puyol

Barcelona's legendary captains

Hitting three figures as Barça captain is yet another accomplishment in Messi’s never-ending list of achievements, and he could eventually overtake Iniesta (151 games as captain) and maybe Xavi Hernández too (156 matches as captain). However it's unlikely he will get near to the club record which is held by the blaugranas’ longest-serving skipper, and arguably one of the finest captains Barcelona and LaLiga have had the pleasure of seeing, Carles Puyol who held the position for 10 seasons, racking up 392 matches wearing the red and yellow armband.