FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi cracked yet another plateau in his illustrious career on Wednesday night, when he was named as a starter wearing the captain’s armband for the 100th time since he did it six years ago, on March 30, 2013 against Celta.
Messi captained the team that day because the regular captains — Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández, Víctor Valdés, and Andrés Iniesta — were all absent from manager Jordi Roura’s starting lineup. Messi scored in the 72nd minute, but he was no longer acting as the team’s captain, because by the time he had found the net, he was no longer wearing the armband. Messi had given the armband to Iniesta, who came on as a sub in the 64th. That said, Messi did assist Cristian Tello on a goal in the 42nd, while Messi was wearing the armband.
Beyond that official captain’s debut, the first time Messi ever wore the armband was on July 27, 2008 in a preseason friendly against Dundee United. Messi scored a hat-trick that day in a 5-1 Barça victory.
Here’s the breakdown of Messi’s first 100 games started as captain since the Celta match in the 2012-13 season.
Season, games as captain
2012-13, 1 game (at Celta)
2014-15, 6 games
2015-16, 14 games
2016-17, 26 games
2017-18, 14 games
2018-19, 39 games
Messi was chosen by his teammates to be among the squad’s four captains for the 2014/15 season, in which Barça won the club’s second treble. When Xavi left at the end of the season, Messi ascended to second captain status, where he remained until the current campaign, when he was named the first captain. All four captains this season came up through La Masia.