Following Gerard Pique’s sudden retirement announcement in December, Barcelona have not only been left without a central defender in their ranks, but also without their second-choice captain.
Sergio Busquets currently holds the armband as the first-choice captain, but he, too, is expected to depart in the summer to join Inter Miami on a free transfer.
Sergi Roberto’s contract expires in the summer as well, which means Barcelona will have to shuffle the pack completely come June.
According to Toni Juanmarti, Barcelona are in no rush to make their decision. Currently, there are three players leading the race to take over Pique’s captaincy: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Robert Lewandowski, and Ronald Araujo.
Ter Stegen is currently the frontrunner in this race and is practically the natural choice for this role. He has already taken the responsibility of the armband a couple of times in the past, including this season, when all four captains were benched or unavailable.
The Camp Nou faithful, unsatisfied with the Barcelona captains in the past, have often asked for the German to be made the official leader of the team.
Further, the player himself is quite excited to take over that responsibility and feels prepared. His teammates, too, consider him as an example of commitment and professionalism.
Barcelona usually take a vote on their four captains ahead of every season, and Jordi Alba currently has a lot of ‘ballots’ in favour of becoming the first captain. After all, he is the only player of the four with a longer contract.
If that remains to be the case at the end of the season, Barcelona will have to take a vote on the remaining three captains either way.